Michele's poignant last message

MESSAGES of support from friends were among the treasured possessions Ipswich mother Michele Wood had with her at the time of her death, it emerged today.

MESSAGES of support from friends were among the treasured possessions Ipswich mother Michele Wood had with her at the time of her death, it emerged today.

Today the grieving family of Mrs Wood, who was found dead by a culvert on a farm in The Street, Nacton, on Wednesday, have released excerpts from her journal which were found at the scene, along with family photographs.

A number of messages were written by friends and colleagues when Mrs Wood, a practice nurse at Ravenswood Medical Practice, took time off work due to stress. She placed these into a journal along with Bible readings and other personal notes, which she began shortly after she had the breakdown in January.

Among the messages was a poignant note she had written which read: “It meant so much at a time when I felt I had failed in so many ways.”

Mrs Wood went missing from her home in Medway Road, near Landseer Park, on Monday - a day after her 45th birthday.

Her death is being treated as unexplained but is not believed to be suspicious. It has been referred to the coroner and a post mortem was conducted yesterday.

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Reverend Paul Daltry, from St Luke's Church in Cliff Lane, Ipswich, speaking on behalf of Mrs Wood's husband Pete, 21-year-old daughter, Hannah, and 17-year-old son Ben, said he saw her shortly before she disappeared.

Although she seemed to be on the mend, he said it appears she had never fully recovered.

Mrs Wood, a dedicated Christian and parishioner at St Luke's, was reported missing at 5.40pm on Monday by her husband, who had last seen her at 9.40am that day.

Rev Daltry said: “Her husband thought she had gone out to get some milk but within an hour, he became concerned and knew something was amiss. He went out to look for her but that afternoon, he called police.”

A search was launched but was called off on Wednesday after a member of the public reported seeing a body in Nacton.

Rev Daltry added: “It was very hard. She had to take about two months' off work and although she went back, she wasn't coping.

“She didn't agree with taking medication. The last time I saw her she was much more the Michele we knew and loved.”

Originally from Ipswich, Mrs Wood brought up her family in the town. She and husband had been married for nearly 25 years and were utterly devoted to each other, Rev Daltry said.

He added: “They are a lovely close-knit family. They did everything together.

“She was due to come to Rwanda with the church in February and had been looking forward to it but then got ill. She loved to help other people.”

Mrs Wood was popular with her fellow parishioners, patients and colleagues and will be greatly missed.

Instead of flowers, the family have requested donations for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Rwanda Direct via Farthing, Singleton and Hastings funeral directors, 650 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, IP4 4PW.

Would you like to pay tribute to Mrs Wood? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, alternatively e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk or visit www.eveningstar.co.uk

MICHELE Wood's early nursing career was in medical and surgical wards.

Since 1990 she worked as a practice nurse and got a Community Nursing Specialist Practice degree.

Her special interest lay in diabetes care and she also completed a certificate in primary diabetes care at Warwick University as well as other general courses in asthma, cervical screening, travel health, wound care and skin cancer.

Ravenswood Medical Practice today paid tribute to Mrs Wood abilities and professionalism.

A statement from the practice said: “Michele was a much loved, valued and loyal member of the nursing team at Ravenswood Medical Practice.

“Michele worked at the practice for over 18 years during which time she had given an outstanding contribution to her profession.

“Her natural ability to care for and give support to her patients was well known. Her particular skills in the area of diabetes management will have been appreciated by the many patients who came to see her regularly.

“As a colleague Michele inspired and motivated others and went out of her way to give support and encouragement. She was always vibrant, positive and happy and had a way of lifting the spirits of those around her. She will be sorely missed by all who have had the privilege of knowing her.”

A book of condolence has been set up at the practice for staff and patients to add their special messages.

The following reading was found in Michele Wood's journal

Abbey Muzio is a three-year-old little girl with blonde hair and the biggest smile ever. Although a fun-loving child, she has a fear of water. If she dares stick her foot in a pool, she only does so wearing water wings, clutching her mommy's neck and whimpering, “You won't let me doe?” Please, don't let me doe.” Though her mother struggles to breathe in Abbey's vice grip, she assures, “Sweetie, I won't let you go.”

Life situations that have a potential for danger or disappointment can easily foster fear in our hearts. We are so like Abbey, attempting to grab God in an arm lock and insisting, “Don't let me doe!” Rather than fear, we need to have faith; Isaiah 43 is a beautiful picture of God's provision in the midst of trouble. Jesus himself said in John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

God has a vice grip on us…he has the eternal security of our souls in an arm lock. He will never, ever let you go!

Abbey's mother told me, “I wish Abbey would simply relax and trust me. I don't want her to be afraid; I want her to have fun in the water. She needs to realize that my hold on her is more secure than any grip she has on me.” It's a lesson about God we all need to learn.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the promises in your Word, which chase away fears that overwhelm. I trust you with scary life situations. Thank you for holding me tight.

The following excerpt was written in Mrs Wood's handwriting

“Don't Let Me Doe”

This item was in the daily reading book “Pearls at Great Price” by Joni. I had started to use this in 2008 when it was first printed. Also bought a copy for Louise and Di as we could then share and read map and blessings together.

This particular day spoke volumes as I was meeting Chris (practice manager) and Dr Doshi (snr partner) on this particular day, to discuss some very major issues that had resulted in me going off work with stress. It was a time when I know I was upheld in prayer and special moments like this reading. I also noted “Jesus” face looking at me over the page as a bookmark.