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Laura, We Love You And Miss You xxx

Roger Tretton has shared this very special insight into how Laura West’s precious, caring life is being not only remembered but also wonderfully cherished in selfless way to benefit the whole community.

Roger writes……..

There are many good causes and charities a person can support. Nowadays many people have so many sad stories of loss and suffering, but what divides those wallowing in misery from those who have a big enough heart to try to change the world is a simple choice. Do you commit to a good cause or accept the world as it is? Unfortunately more often than not it takes tragedy for people to call to action. But sometimes through hurt pain and suffering it can be that our belief in the human spirit can be renewed.

Gilly Atkinson’s story is nothing short of tragic but she made a simple choice, not to accept the world as it is, she chose to try to change it for the better of others which is what makes her story remarkable.

Gilly’s family life was left shattered on April 16th last year when her daughter Laura 29 (featured photograph), who had been an army medic suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while swimming.

Gilly explained to us what happened on that fateful day.

It had been a normal day for Laura, she had drank her morning coffee, had taken her precious French bull dog ’Hendrick’ out for his walk, and she had felt tired, but after we had endured lockdown for long enough, she wanted to get to the swimming pool, as planned and do the training programme she had set herself. She booked an hour of swimming and off she went. Unfortunately, she was never to return’ said Gilly.

 ‘The Air Ambulance guy said, ’’Is that Katie’s mum?’’ I said ‘’No its Laura’s mum!’’ He said ‘’Oh, ok well we have your daughter here, she’s been in an accident, and we are currently working on her and doing CPR!’’,

Gilly explained that initially she thought she had been in a car accident

’Then he said ‘’We are at Lancaster university at the pool side and Laura is just with us at the moment and we are just seeing where you are?’’ ‘.

Unfortunately the Air Ambulance team were unable to bring her back and Gilly’s and her families lives would be drastically changed forever.

‘It’s something you never could imagine happening to you, the sheer shock that we will never see her again is heart breaking’ continued Gilly.

Laura had a bright future ahead of her, she had just been promoted to Corporal and posted in Preston and was planning to marry her partner in 2023.

Since the tragedy Gilly has begun fundraising alongside her 2 friends Gillian Gallagher and Helen Crane to install life saving defibrillators.

‘If there was a defibrillator at the swimming pool where Laura was swimming it could have been possible to save her life so we are raising money in the hope we can prevent this from happening to other families so they don’t have to grieve their loved ones unexpectedly, like we did’.

Gilly is no stranger to bad news, 14 years ago she had breast cancer and thyroid cancer 5 years ago and she has a benign tumour on her pineal gland in her brain which affects her sleep.

‘Life’s too short to worry about what might happen, but moving forward I want to make a difference while I am here and if I can help others then I have done a good job’.

Through Gilly’s determination and her team she has raised enough money to install 10 defibrillators priced at £1200 each in Fleetwood and is now fundraising to install 10 more in Poulton-le-Fylde where she lives.

She also has a stark warning to other parents ‘If you or your children have symptoms of tiredness or dizziness or palpitations after exertion go and get screened, it is better to be safe than sorry because heart conditions can be underlying’.

‘My life has changed dramatically since losing my daughter. She was a huge part of our lives and my children are everything to me’.

‘The boys, her brothers, are just so lost without her addictive laugh, her warming smile and her selfless heart. Her kindness was just amazing. She helped so many people, in and out of her job. She was a Medic of 8 years. She became a Corporal. She deserved that stripe and so much more she deserved her future. She was a very selfless character who gave her all to everyone she could. Now I am giving what I can to the community in her honour’.

Gilly closed with ‘You don’t realise how precious life is until it is taken from you, we must cherish every moment we have with our loved ones because nobody knows how long any of us have’.

The next event planned is to celebrate Laura’s birthday on the actual day which is 9th March is to be held at the new venue Stocks and Shilling, 23 Market Place in Poulton from 7pm-11pm.

The event is a ticket only event costing £20, all funds go to the defibrillator fund raising which is a non-profit organisation. Bands performing are the Dead Beats, Clare Daye, accompanied with a hot pot and a raffle. Helen Crane has hand crafted heart beat items, book marks, jewellery & wine glass charms which are for sale.

The tickets are available from our page below:

Visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gillygeorgina-williams?utm_term=rd8vyqnRE to make a donation or find them on Facebook at: Wyre and Fylde Community defibrillators.

Gilly with a defibrillator purchased in memory of her daughter, Laura:

Laura and Gilly :

 

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