Family pay tribute to brave Clare

A BRAVE Suffolk woman who died at the age of 23 after battling with a number of illnesses and conditions was today lovingly remembered by her family.

A BRAVE Suffolk woman who died at the age of 23 after battling with a number of illnesses and conditions was today lovingly remembered as “unique” and “mischievous” by her family.

Clare Stone was born with a chromosome deficiency which meant she was mentally and physically handicapped, and forced to endure major heart surgery at only seven-years-old.

The popular Coddenham woman was also diabetic, epileptic and was unable to see properly during the last year of her life.

Her ailments were so severe that doctors at first warned she would not live much beyond her first year.


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But despite her difficulties, Miss Stone's family said she never complained, instead facing her life's hurdles with a warm smile and a wicked sense of humour.

Her brother Jon said: “She had a limited life but what life she had she enjoyed. She was the centre of the family and she brought us all together.”

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Brother-in-law Paul Corbett continued: “Clare was unique and full of mischief. She certainly understood more than we thought.

“She had a great character. She was very happy and she loved life. Anybody who met her couldn't fail to like her.

“Nothing seemed to worry or phase her. She never moaned and she tolerated all the pain she had.

“Clare had a very mischievous side. She would try to trip people up as they walked by and she had a thing about slapping people's bums at inappropriate times.

“You never expected her to die because of who she was. She was such a fighter.”

Dad Graham added: “She was very well-known around the village. The church was full at the funeral. Everybody knew Clare.”

Miss Stone, whose cause of death on October 29 is listed as pneumonia, attended Belstead and Heathside special schools, before moving on to Stowmarket Resource Centre, a day facility for adults with learning disabilities.

Louise Clarke, senior day care officer at the centre, described Clare as a very popular “happy-go-lucky” woman.

She said: “Clare had a wicked sense of humour. She loved to laugh at everybody's jokes.

“She will be sorely missed by all her friends here.”

Miss Stone, of Green Hill, was buried beside her mother Jean, who died of bowel cancer three years ago, aged 53.

Miss Stone's sister, Jane Corbett, said losing her mother had a major impact upon Miss Stone.

She said: “Mum had looked after Clare from the day she was born. Without mum, she would not have reached the age she did.

“Losing her hit Clare quite hard. She heavily relied on mum without us realising.”

MISS Stone's condition was so rare that doctors at Ipswich Hospital dubbed the illness “Clare's Syndrome”.

Her brother Jon said: “She had a syndrome which no one really understood. They called it Clare's Syndrome because they didn't know what the proper name for it was.

“She had to have major heart surgery at Great Ormond Street when she was seven because she had a hole in her heart.

“It took a few months after she was born to realise what was wrong with her. Mum said she knew something was not right as soon as she was born.

“But Clare couldn't tell you what the problem was. She could talk but she didn't have the understanding of her own body.”

Her dad Graham said: “They said when she was born that she was not going to make it to a year. Then she wasn't going to make it to ten. Doctors said few get to adulthood with the condition she had.”

Jon added: “We would like to thank every member of staff at the hospital, not just for the last couple of weeks but going right back, for all the help they have given her.”

Graham continued: “The nurses at the hospital were fantastic to Clare. We are very grateful to them.”

WEBLINK

www.ipswichhospital.nhs.uk

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