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Mum's tribute to son who "overcame all the obstacles"

Mark Brann, who has died at the age of 32
Mark Brann, who has died at the age of 32

A mother has paid tribute to her son for overcoming the odds to follow his dream.

Young entrepreneur Mark Brann, former owner of the Exotic Pet Centre, in Union Street, Maidstone, has died at the age of 32.

His mother, Anne, who helped him set up the business, said she would remember her youngest son as the most positive person she had ever met.

Father-of-one Mr Brann, who suffered from epilepsy, passed away at his parents’ house in Surrey Road, Maidstone.

He had been out with friends the night before, and had spent the morning chatting to friends on Facebook before suffering a fatal seizure.

Mrs Brann said: “He knew it could happen but you just don’t expect it.

“He always thought he was invincible.

“He refused to let his illness rule his life.”

She said both she and Mark’s father Ron were incredibly proud of him for following his dream.

After being diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager, Mr Brann went through 23 jobs in three years.

Despite this he remained positive and finally realised his ambition of opening the shop in 2000, selling species like water dragons, tarantualas, geckos and boa constrictors, with the help of a grant from the Princes Trust.

In recent months Mrs Brann has taken over the shop while Mr Brann worked as a photographer for Life Photography in Church Street.

She said: “He absolutely loved it, but in the back of his mind his dream was to one day open a reptile zoo in Maidstone and I think he would have done it.”

She added: “We were so proud of him and we were with him every step of the way.

“He just overcame everything, every obstacle that was put in his way.

“He had such belief in himself, he once said to my grandson: 'you should tell yourself you’re the world greatest because if you don’t think it no one else will.’

“And that was him to a tee.”

He leaves a son Harry, four, and brothers and sisters Steven, Nicola, Geraldine, Samantha and Natalie.

A funeral service in celebration of his life will take place at St Martin’s Church, Northumberland Road, Shepway, Maidstone, on Tuesday, October 28 at 10.30am and at Sutton Road Cemetery at noon, followed by a wake at the Russell Hotel, Boxley Road.

Flowers c/o Pickard and Beale, 11 Brewer Street, Maidstone, 01622 677155, and donations to epilepsy charities.

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