Tributes paid to 31-year-old with ‘big heart’ who died of coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 17:00 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:33 28 April 2020
Tributes have been paid to a “warmed-hearted, loving” 31-year-old who died after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
Laura Turner-Hewitt is among the youngest people in the county to die from the virus.
On April 8 her family said she had a headache but was not showing common symptoms of coronavirus, such as a cough or breathing problems.
But on Easter Sunday she started having chest pain and staff at the Bowthorpe Community Village, a sheltered housing complex in Norwich where she lived, called an ambulance to take her to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).
She was diagnosed with Covid-19 and pneumonia, and after two days her condition deteriorated and she was taken into intensive care and put on a ventilator. Miss Turner-Hewitt died eight days later.
Having grown up in Diss, she was well-known in the community and a familiar face at the Break charity shop, where she worked.
Her mother Rachel Turner-Hewitt said a Go Fund Me page set up to raise money for a coffin with bluebells on had passed its £350 target, raising more than £3,500.
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She said: “We, as a family, are totally overwhelmed by the response, but, Laura was such a special, warm hearted, loving girl and it has been such a comfort at this difficult time.”
Laura was diagnosed with a learning disability when she started school and had health issues growing up. She faced frequent hospital visits with gastric problems and osteomyelitis, a bone infection, and lived with dyspraxia.
Her mother said: “During these incidents Laura never complained and always faced everything with a smile on her face.
“At the age of 10 she developed epilepsy, which fortunately was well controlled with medication, but was just another hurdle to jump.”
When she was 23 fluid was found in her brain which needed life saving treatment with lumbar puncture procedures on a regular basis.
Ms Turner-Hewitt said: “At the age of 28, with the help of an excellent social worker, Laura was offered a self-contained flat at Bowthorpe Community Village. She took to independent life like a duck to water and completely blossomed and loved her new found freedom, she had all the support she needed but the freedom to bloom.
“The elderly residents loved Laura because of her warm and caring nature. She had such a big heart and always thought of others first. She has overcome so many challenges in her life and always with the biggest smile.”