The husband of a devoted nurse who overcame adversity during her childhood has paid tribute at an inquest into her death. 

Penelope Noble, known as Penny, died at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital last year on September 22. 

The 74-year-old was found “unresponsive” by her husband, William Noble, at their home at Lovell Gardens in Watton

Evidence read out at Norfolk Coroner’s Court by assistant coroner, Christopher Leach, heard that Mrs Noble was “barely responding” when she arrived at hospital. 

She continued to deteriorate throughout the day and died that evening. 

A statement from Mr Noble, a retired RAF air traffic controller, was read out at the Norwich-based court.  

He said: “Penny never really stood a chance of having a normal life. 

“She was taken into care aged 18 months, she then faced 10 years of being bounced from various children’s homes and foster carers. 

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“In the process, she was exposed to numerous abuses both physical and mental, where all ability to trust adults was totally demolished.” 

Despite her early challenges in life, Mrs Noble went on to forge a career as a nurse after joining the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps at the age of 18. 

“This initially improved her self-confidence,” Mr Noble added. 

“She put most of her energies into her nursing and often worked without a day off. Even birthdays and anniversaries took second place to her patients. 

“Being a nurse was everything to Penny.” 

Mr Leach recorded a narrative conclusion into the cause of death. 

He said: “Mrs Penelope Noble died following emergency admission to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital having been found collapsed at home by her husband. 

“Mrs Noble was diagnosed with suffering from type 2 respiratory failure caused by her lung conditions, and an overdose of her opioid medication contributed to her deteriorating condition. 

"Mrs Noble did not respond to emergency treatment and passed away at the hospital shortly after treatment was stopped.”