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Organ donor grandmother’s kidneys help two men after fatal swimming accident

PUBLISHED: 09:27 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:27 23 September 2020

Robin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral Services

Robin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral Services

Archant

Two men are now living healthier lives after receiving kidneys donated by a grandmother who died after a tragic accident at a north Norfolk beach.

Robin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral ServicesRobin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral Services

The funeral for Robin Spruce, 77, from Briston, will take place at the village’s parish church on Wednesday, September 23.

Mrs Spruce died on Saturday, August 16, following a visit to Overstrand beach on August 11. Mrs Spruce was knocked to the sea floor while she had been swimming in the surf, and suffered a cardiac arrest after she was carried out of the surf onto the beach.

Noel Spruce, her husband, said that through the organ donations, Mrs Spruce’s generosity had carried on after her death.

Mr Spruce said: “A gentleman in his early 70s received a kidney, having been on the waiting list for a little over two years. The second was a gentleman in his mid-70s, who also received a kidney, having been on the waiting list for a similar period of time.

Robin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral ServicesRobin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral Services

“Robin would have been delighted to have known that two people could anticipate an extension to their lives without dialysis, and that was just typical of a caring woman who never failed to amaze me in her helpful attitude to others far worse off than herself.

“She will be so sorely missed, but at least her tragic death was tempered by these events.”

Mrs Spruce was known for her caring nature - she volunteered for 15 years at the LAMS (Life and MS) Day Group at Southrepps, and had also volunteered for 10 years with Victim Support. Mr Spruce said he and his wife had both signed up to be organ donors in 2001.

MORE: Grandmother dies five days after being pulled from sea

Mr Spruce said the funeral procession will leave from the family home in Reepham Road at 11.45am, with family members walking to the church behind the hearse.

Robin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral ServicesRobin Spruce, who died after a swimming accident at Overstand in north Norfolk. Picture: Supplied by the family/Lloyd Durham Funeral Services

He said that while only a limited number of people would be allowed inside for the service at midday due to coronavirus restrictions, others would be able to pay their respects to her outside the church.

Mr Spruce said: “It is anticipated that there will be a significant number of friends who will line the pathway from the churchyard gate to the west door, who wish to pay their final respects, in addition to the permitted 30 mourners attending the service itself.”

Mr Spruce said sand from Mrs Spruce’s favourite beach on the Dodekanese island of Lipsi in Greece has been brought back to sprinkle on the coffin, together with rosemary sprigs made by grandchildren Jasmine and Thomas.

Harp music will be played, a specially written poem entitled ‘Yours’ will be read out and retired vicar and family friend James Ramsay will read a personal tribute and give the eulogy.


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