Leave your tributes to cancer victim Emily Turner

Tributes were paid last night to a young woman who had been looking forward to a bright future with her fiance but died from a heart attack caused by an aggressive form of lung cancer.

Emily Turner, 23, had only been ill for a month before she died from a sudden attack caused by small-cell carcinoma, a cancer deemed very rare in non-smokers.

She had just bought a home with her fiance and talked about starting a family. But she was struck down by the cancer despite being a non-smoker and died in hospital.

She was described as a 'kind, caring and selfless' young woman who had even urged her partner's parents not to cancel their holiday when she had became unwell.

Her fiance, Alex Jeffery, 23, said he had lost the woman he called his 'life' just weeks after they had bought their first home together.

He added: 'We had seven great years together. She was my life. We adored each other.'

Ms Turner's mother, Christine, said how her daughter had been unwell for about a month with a swollen knee, face and body, and complained of a pain in her right side.

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She was admitted to the James Paget University Hospital at Gorleston where she suffered a heart attack brought on by the cancer and died on August 13.

Small cell lung cancer is very rare in a young person and non-smoker.

Cancer Research UK said: 'About 12 out of every 100 lung cancers diagnosed are this type. Small cell lung cancer is called this because the cancer cells are small cells that are mostly filled with the nucleus, the control centre of cells. It is also called oat cell cancer.

'This type of cancer is usually caused by smoking. It is very rare for someone who has never smoked to develop it.

'Small cell lung cancer often spreads quite early on and so your doctors may recommend chemotherapy treatment rather than surgery.'

Mr Jeffery, a worker at Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk, said he met Emily when he was 16 and proposed on Christmas Day in 2007. They had just bought a house in St George's Road, Pakefield.

George and Christine Turner said their daughter adored her two springer spaniels, Pippa and Daisy, and could often be seen walking them at Pakefield.

Mrs Turner added: 'Emily was looking forward so much to doing the decoration in her new home and making sure she got the right pictures for the house.

'She was a shy girl who never had a bad word to say about anybody.'

Emily was born on May 26, 1989 and attended St Mary's Primary's School at Kirkley, Lowestoft, before moving to Notre Dame High School in Norwich.

She had worked in the cake shop at Morrison's at Pakefield where her mother works in the bakery.

Her fiance's parents, Nicola Dyer and Andrew Jeffery, said: 'She loved her fashion and whenever she went out she looked stunning.'

Tributes were also paid by her sister Vicki, 21, brothers Gareth, 31, David, 27, and Robert, 19, who said: 'She was always shy but when she was 16 she met Alex and that brought her out of her shell. She used to love seeing new people.'

On Facebook, tributes were left by friends. Jess Belsey wrote: 'R.I.P Emily such sad shocking news! U were always such a happy person and always so lovely to everyone!'

A Notre Dame High School spokesman said: 'We want to express how very sad we are to hear of the tragic death of Emily Turner. She was described in her reports as a loyal friend, always hard-working and always very well behaved – a delightful pupil to have come through the school.'

The family plans to hold a vigil with tea light lanterns to celebrate her life near Pakefield Rifle Range at 7pm on Friday, September 7.

A funeral service will be held at Pakefield Church on Tuesday at 11.30am followed by burial at Kirkley Cemetery. The wake will be held at the Trowel and Hammer pub in Pakefield.

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