More than £10,500 has been raised for local charities following the death of a midwife who was “adored for her warmth and infectious smile”. 

Sarah Tilley, of Great Yarmouth, was first diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called cholangiocarcinoma in 2021. 

Affecting the bile duct, she was informed the diagnosis was terminal and was forced to take medical retirement from the NHS. 

But it did not stop the 49-year-old helping others right up until her death last month. 

Mrs Tilley was born at Northgate Hospital in her seaside hometown on August 15, 1974. She grew up in the area and attended the local schools. 

Eastern Daily Press: Sarah Tilley married Mark Tilley in 1999 and had been together for 31 years before her death last

Her husband of almost 25 years, Mark Tilley, said: “As a result, she would always know someone wherever she went. 

“Everyone adored her warmth and infectious smile.” 

At the age of 15, she welcomed her first child, Jodie, in April 1990.  

Later, she would meet her future husband and together they had daughter Lara, born November 1995. The couple married in 1999. 

Alongside being a young mother, her family explained how she worked “extremely hard” to get back into education to fulfil her dream of becoming a midwife. 

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In 2008, she qualified and secured a job at the James Paget Hospital (JPH). Here, she would go on to become a specialist midwife. 

Her past experiences of working with families and their children in Sure Start children's centres across Great Yarmouth is what ultimately led her to her passion. 

After many years working at the JPH, she began working with the Family Nurse Partnership Team at NHS Cambridgeshire Community Services. This involved working with vulnerable families and children.  

Eastern Daily Press: Sarah Tilley, 49, of Great Yarmouth died last month following a cancer diagnosis

Mr Tilley added: “She had such an impact on so many people across Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft and this has really shown since her passing. 

“Sarah really was the heart of the community and the love for her has spread far and wide across social media.” 

After retiring from the NHS, Mrs Tilley became a trustee for Great Yarmouth-based charity Feathers Futures.  

She also gave a talk to more than 100 students about her cancer. 

Outside of her career, she enjoyed holidays and gardening. 

Since her death on Monday, September 25, a Just Giving page for the charities Beccles Hospice and Feathers Futures has raised thousands of pounds. 

Her funeral will take place on Friday, October 20 at 1pm at Great Yarmouth Minster. 

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