Thurton widow’s plea after husband’s death

As a widow handed over a funeral collection of more than �4,000 to the Big C charity on Saturday, she issued a plea for anyone with unexplained symptoms to keep going back to their doctor.

Father-of-two Paul Harvey, who had worked for agricultural suppliers Ben Burgess for 29 years, was only diagnosed with bowel cancer in June two months before his death - and yet he had been suffering health problems for more than two years.

Veronica Harvey, of St George's Close, Thurton, said: 'He was first off work two and a half years ago with what was put down to a kidney infection, and he was off last Christmas for a month with what doctors again thought was a problem with his kidneys.'

He had gone into hospital on August 24 and died unexpectedly nine days later at the age of 45.

Mrs Harvey described the funeral as an 'amazing' spectacle with 400 mourners packing Thurton church, including members of the local farming community and 100 of her husband's workmates, who formed a guard of honour.

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Handing a cheque to Rachel Francis from the Big C in a ceremony at Ben Burgess, in Norwich, she praised the support the Big C centre at Norfolk and Norwich hospital gave cancer sufferers and their families.

John Rupp, the boss at Ben Burgess's branch at Beeston, described his former service manager as 'very likeable' and a 'good country lad'.

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Mr Harvey had started out as an apprentice for Ben Burgess in Norwich and after 22 years as a technician, specialising in tractors and round balers, was promoted to become service manager in Beeston.

As part of a tribute read out at the funeral, Mr Rupp said: 'Paul had an ability to make everyone his friend, customers and work colleagues alike.'

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