Lasting legacy for St John Ambulance volunteers who died within hours of each other
- Credit: Archant
They were inseparable in life and have now been commemorated in the most fitting fashion after dying within just seven hours of one another.
Peter Rose, 67, and Roly Uppiah, 64, were friends for more than two decades as St John Ambulance (SJA) volunteers before they lost their lives overnight on October 31 into November 1, 2014.
The pair left behind six children and widows Kim Rose and Sylvia Uppiah, who have decided to provide a lasting legacy to the men by funding full training kits for the SJA base at Carbrooke House, Thorpe St Andrew. Mrs Rose, 49, is the district training lead for St John's Ambulance in Norfolk, and said the men became friends through the charity.
In Christmas 2013, Mr Uppiah, from Postwick, was diagnosed with mantel cell leukaemia, followed by Mr Rose who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in June 2014.
Even when their health took a turn for the worst, they kept smiling.
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Mrs Rose, from Norwich, said: 'They would both laugh immensely about how Roly glowed in the dark because of the radiation from his treatment. They would always be taken to one room in the Mulbarton ward at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.
'We would joke they could never be admitted at the same time because the room only had one bed in it. If one was in hospital the other one would always visit.'
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However, the pair were to finally break that rule when they were both admitted the week before they died.
'The Friday before he died, Roly was admitted,' Mrs Rose said. 'On the Saturday morning, Peter was in. Peter died the following Friday night and I picked up the phone on Saturday morning to tell Sylvia the news. She said she was just picking up the phone to ring me, because Roly had died too. The whole thing was extremely difficult, and the irony was Peter didn't die from his cancer. Ten days before he died we had the good news that he was winning the battle.
'Unfortunately he came down with pneumonia and that killed him.'
The training packs contain a wide assortment of first aid items from bandages and masks through to advanced life support equipment.
They will help trainers to teach everything from basic first aid up to the skills required to be an Emergency Transport Attendant.
Mrs Uppiah said: 'It's great for the training team to have the equipment to be able to continue to train the members of St John Ambulance, which both Roly and Peter would have wanted.'