Tributes paid to tragic pensioner

HEARTBROKEN relatives of a woman who died after having to wait more than a month for a blood test today paid tribute to her. Medics struggled to diagnose Ipswich pensioner Shirley Taylor's mysterious illness until it was too late.

HEARTBROKEN relatives of a woman who died after having to wait more than a month for a blood test today paid tribute to her.

Medics struggled to diagnose Ipswich pensioner Shirley Taylor's mysterious illness until it was too late.

An inquest into the 73-year-old's death heard how she presented with symptoms including a black tongue, painful blisters and massive ulcerations but had to wait for 36 days until a blood test was carried out.

It also emerged that the grandmother, of Cauldwell Hall Road, lay suffering in bed while surgery workers left the blood test, recommended by a skin specialist, on hold over their four-day Easter vacation.


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When it was finally completed, it revealed that her immune system was almost non-existent. The illness - later diagnosed by experts as Agranulocytosis - took her life in Ipswich Hospital in June last year.

Today, loved ones remembered Mrs Taylor as “a lady of courage and character”.

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Her sister, Mary Heugh, said: “Shirley was a remarkable lady. Everyone who knew her loved her.

“She fought her illness with great courage and dignity. I never heard her complain once.

“I hope that some lessons will be learnt from her death.”

Barrie Newson said: “Shirley was a lady of enormous character and courage, a lady who lived her life not only for herself and her immediate family, but also for the benefit of the family as a whole.”

A statement issued by Mrs Taylor's husband George, daughters Linda and Karen, and grandchildren Renae, Carl and Luca, said: “You fought so bravely to stay with us, but it was not to be.

“You had a heart of gold on earth, an angel without wings.”

Relatives June and Terry Weeding added: “She was a very brave lady as she suffered greatly from beginning to end without ever complaining.

“She was one of the greatest sisters anyone could ever have wished for - kind, loving and always there for me.”

A report in the inquest into the death of Shirley Taylor in Tuesday's Evening Star said Dr Sam Gibbs, a consultant dermatologist, stated the disease she died from would typically produce three cases per million of a western population.

In fact, this fact was said by Dr Nick Dodd, a haematologist who gave evidence at the inquest.

Would you like to pay tribute to Shirley Taylor? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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