Mum was always a fighter, born with a condition called TOFFs Syndrome – her windpipe was joined to her gullet so she needed to undergo serious operations as a small baby.
Having raised us four children it was not without a struggle having lost two infant boys throughout the years and having lost her husband John at the age of 48.
Mum began to work after dad died and work became very much her life, she saw it really as a social life rather than work and her colleagues remember her fondly and miss her dearly.
She was in generally good health but on New Year’s Day she had a nose bleed and had to attend A&E to get it stopped. We thought nothing of it and sat laughing and joking and even took photos of her to post on Facebook! She had to have a dressing put into her nasal passage to stop the flow and was later transferred to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle to have it cauterised.
Later that month on the 25th January our lives were about to change forever, mum was hard to wake and when she did wake, she didn't make any sense. She was taken ill so my older and younger sister called an ambulance and she was taken to Wansbeck General Hospital. Again we thought she would have been laughing and joking with us at how silly she'd acted back home, but this wasn't the case.
We were told on Friday 27th January that mum was suffering a rare form of meningitis and that she also was suffering from septicaemia. Along with this she ended up with six embolisms on the brain and both of her heart valves were infected and showing signs of an abscess. She was eventually transferred to The Freeman Hospital where we believed they would operate on her heart to remove the damaged valves but she was too ill.
Mum was constantly visited by us all during her illness and at times it was awful seeing her going through such a horrendous infection but, on Saturday 4th February mum suffered multiple organ failure and cardiac arrest just as my little sister and I got to her. Seeing Mum pass away has been a traumatic experience for us, and things are still quite raw. She has left such a void in all of our lives, I keep saying "it’s awful" but it’s not, it’s a nightmare.