Family's tribute to 'bright light' Vicky

POPULAR, charming and intelligent, Vicky Baker had her whole life ahead of her.

Josh Warwick

POPULAR, charming and intelligent, Vicky Baker had her whole life ahead of her.

But today her grieving family and army of friends are left with only cherished memories of the 26-year-old after she died suddenly as she slept at her Ipswich home on Monday.

Vicky suffered from epilepsy and had been prescribed vital medication to control seizures after diagnosis four years ago.

However, her family have revealed how she loathed the notion of taking medicine for the rest of her life - and, unbeknown to them, stopped taking the pills after little more than a year.

Vicky's heartbroken father Keith Baker urged other sufferers to learn from the tragedy - and also paid a moving tribute to his daughter.

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He said: “Vicky was prescribed one tablet a day. However, about three years ago Vicky stopped taking her medication because she felt the fits had stopped.

"She thought she no longer needed to carry on with it.

“The message from this is clear - keep taking your medication because you never know when the next fit could happen.”

Vicky, of Park Road, was often unaware that she had suffered a seizure because they only took place when she was asleep, her family revealed.

Older sister Caroline Hardy said: “The only indication was that she would feel tired and achy the following morning.

“However, her job often involved long hours and shift work which would leave her tired anyway.

“I discovered about a year ago that she had stopped taking her tablets. She told me she didn't want to take medication for the rest of her life."

While there is no cure for epilepsy, about 70 per cent of sufferers are able to have their seizures completely controlled with the right type and dosage of anti-epileptic medication.

Vicky's close friend Annika Hayden said: “I think she thought she could ignore the problem and it would go away.”

In a moving testament to the high regard in which Vicky was held, her family have been inundated with visits, telephone calls and messages of support from an army of well-wishers since her death.

Keith and Caroline fondly remembered the much-loved care worker, whom they described as a “bright light”.

Caroline said: “Vicky walked into a room and her smile would light it up.

“She really did have a heart of gold, too. She would send me the most amazing, beautiful little gifts in the post.

“We used to share a room when we were younger and Vicky would sing me songs and tell me stories.

“Although we were quite different, we were very close. I live in Yorkshire now but when I came back we would take up where we had left off.

“From when she turned ten, she was always taller than me, even though I was 18 months older. People always thought she was the older sister, so even though she was my little sister, she was my big sister, too.”

Keith added: “She was a huge bright light, that's the only way to describe her.”

A date for Vicky's funeral has still to be set.

VICKY Baker loved to socialise, listen to music and dance.

The 26-year-old also enjoyed exercising her natural artistic ability, her family and friends revealed.

Her sister Caroline Hardy said: “Vicky was always the first to put records on.”

Friend Bryony Moss added: “Vicky loved lots of different music, from Mika to Metallica. Anything she could dance to, she enjoyed.

“She was always the first to be dancing. The rule was that she would only be up there if there were ten or more people on the dance floor but that went out of the window as soon as a good song came on.

“Vicky loved art, too. She would never buy cards for anyone because she would always make them herself.”

Bryony also remembered Vicky's out-going streak.

She said: “Vicky loved taking little adventures.

“We used to break into the park at night and go and sit on the swings.

“I remember we went to Nacton shore for a walk. I lost my shoe in the mud and we ended up getting totally lost!”

Vicky's life was turned upside down when her mother died in 2001. Caroline described how she struggled to come to terms with her loss.

She said: “Vicky would never talk about losing our mum. I tried so many times to get her to open up, but she wouldn't.

“She missed mum so much but she just bottled it all up and I couldn't talk to her about it.

“She would talk about the good times, but never about the event of losing her mum.”

Vicky, a former St Matthew's Primary School, Amberfield and Northgate student, had a strong passion for her job at the Ryes schools in Ipswich and later in Sudbury, where she worked for the last four years with challenging children.

Caroline said: “She loved it. She would always complain about it being stressful but she would never talk about work in a bad way.

“She always had a brilliant relationship with children, an instant rapport.”

She was so well-liked that she would have been a bridesmaid at three weddings this year.

An impromptu celebration of her life was staged at McGinty's pub on Monday night as word of her death spread among her legion of friends.

Along with father Keith and older sister Caroline, Vicky also leaves step-sister Dee.

- Pay your tribute to Vicky by leaving a comment below.

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