Heacham woman is ‘local hero’

Macmillan award for caring goes to Louise Lawley-Gibbs

A West Norfolk woman has been named a 'local hero' by a national cancer charity.

Louise Lawley-Gibbs, 63, of Heacham, nursed her former husband who died earlier this year from lung cancer.

She was nominated for the Macmillan Cancer Support award by her daughter Daska Davis, of Dersingham, who said she thought her mum deserved acknowledgement.

'She basically dropped everything and cared for Garth when he became ill,' she said.

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Mrs Lawley-Gibbs and her former husband were both ex-national newspaper journalists and had divorced many years previously.

But when Mr Gibbs was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the start of this year, Mrs Lawley-Gibbs persuaded him to move from the Isle of Wight to Norfolk.

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'He was very isolated on the island and despite being stubborn initially, we did persuade him to move here where we could help,' she said.

'He always came home.'

He initially moved into sheltered accommodation in Heacham but spent long periods in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn and he died on August 12.

Mrs Davis said her mum took her step-father to hospital and GP appointments, collected his prescriptions and generally became a full-time carer for him until he died.

'She deserves some recognition for everything she did,' said Mrs Davis.

The local hero awards were run by Macmillan and sponsored by Silver Spoon sugar producers who chose the winners.

'I didn't know Daska had nominated me and was really touched and surprised when I found out, ' said Mrs Lawley-Gibbs.

'Macmillan were very good while Garth was ill. One nurse in particular was marvellous - even if she could not do anything she would listen and was an angel,' she added.

The family are all keen supporters of Macmillan as Mrs Davis held a coffee morning last month to raise �110 while her husband, Matt, took part in the London to Paris cycle ride earlier this year and raised �1,500.

He also completed the London to Brighton cycle ride by night to raise another �200 for the charity which had helped his father who also died of lung cancer in 2005.

He said he would consider taking part in similar events next year for the charity.

Mrs Lawley-Gibbs received a certificate while her daughter was presented with a hamper of Silver Spoon goodies.

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