Mum tells of agony over teenager's death
NATASHA Hurn should today have the best of her life in front of her as she prepared for her dream job as a veterinary nurse.Instead her grieving family is preparing for a Christmas without her – and trying to come to terms with the teenager's death in her Ipswich flat.
NATASHA Hurn should today have the best of her life in front of her as she prepared for her dream job as a veterinary nurse.
Instead her grieving family is preparing for a Christmas without her – and trying to come to terms with the teenager's death in her Ipswich flat.
Mother Maggie told today of her frantic attempts to phone her daughter after her death, in the hope that the news had been a mistake.
Natasha was found dead in her Purplett Street flat a month ago today.
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Maggie told of her horror at hearing the news that every parent dreads. She said: "It was my worst nightmare come true. She was so beautiful and so full of life. How could she possibly be dead?
"I rang her mobile phone three times and left a message. I expected her to ring me back and tell me she was ok, and for someone to tell me it was a mistake."
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Maggie paid tribute to her "beautiful, bright and bubbly" daughter, who loved animals and dreamed of being a veterinary nurse.
A former Holywells High School pupil, Natasha left school at 16 and applied for a veterinary nurse course at Otley College.
Maggie said: "She was absolutely mad on animals. We used to have a real menagerie at home – cats, a dog, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters and rats.
"All she ever wanted to do was get a job working with them and she was devastated when she didn't get the grades she needed to go to Otley.
"She was extremely bright but she had dyslexia and struggled with her school work.
"She often brought home injured animals. One special memory was when she found a baby hedgehog separated from its mother.
"She kept it warm and nursed it back to health, and was really proud when she took it to an animal centre, where she was congratulated for doing such a good job."
Natasha grew up on the Gainsborough estate in Ipswich, but the family moved to Uplands Road when she was in her early teens.
At the age of 16 she left home, determined to have her independence.
Maggie said: "She could be very strong-willed and stubborn at times. When she said she wanted to move out, I really thought she'd be back at home within a few weeks, but she was determined that she could do it."
Natasha's parents are now divorced, but she remained close to both of them, seeing her mum at least once a week.
Maggie said: "The last time I saw her was on the Wednesday, the week before she died. We had a really lovely, girly day out shopping and then she came back to mine for dinner, where we spent hours going through her old school photos. She was really happy and talking about trying to find a Christmas job somewhere."
Struggling to hold back the tears, Maggie told of Natasha's "zest for life" and enormous popularity. She said: "She had so many friends. Every time we went into town together she'd bump into a load of people she knew.
"I remember when she was about five or six and I told her she could have a few friends round for a birthday party – half the school turned up!
"She always seemed to make an impression wherever she went.
"I just can't imagine never seeing her again, never being able to help her celebrate her birthdays, Christmases, getting married and having children of her own. But I have to.
"Luckily, we have so many happy memories to treasure, but we are all going to miss her terribly."