Brave mum loses two-year fight for life

A COURAGEOUS mother who battled the odds for two years after suffering serious injuries in an horrific crash with an ambulance has lost her fight for life.

James Hore

A COURAGEOUS mother who battled the odds for two years after suffering serious injuries in an horrific crash with an ambulance has lost her fight for life.

The devastated family of Chantal Morgan, from Dovercourt, last night paid tribute to the 33-year-old, who had spent more than two years in and out of a coma.

Despite recent improvements, she suddenly took a turn for the worse earlier this month and was rushed to Colchester General Hospital where she died on December 12 - on her sister Janine's birthday.

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Her sister Michelle said: “She was such a fighter. She would not give up. She should have died but every time she went in for operations, right from the accident, she came out fighting.”

Chantal had been taking her three-year-old son young son, Kai, to his friend's birthday party when the accident happened in September 2006.

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She was unable to avoid the ambulance, which was travelling in the opposite direction on the A120 between Wix and Ramsey on an emergency call towards Harwich International Port.

Chantal suffered severe head injuries and was left in a coma while her son broke both legs, his right arm, jaw and needed 40 stitches although he has made a good recovery.

Doctors were not confident of her chances of survival, but Chantal battled the odds, undergoing three operations as she spent a year in hospital.

The mum, whose married name was Tyrrell , spent more than two years in and out of a coma but had been making significant progress and was able to smile and speak a few short words to her carers at Seven Rivers in Great Bromley. However, she suddenly deteriorated earlier this month.

Her family are awaiting a coroner's report but have been left devastated after seeing her battle so hard to get back to health.

Speaking at her home in Dovercourt, Chantal's mother, Janet said her daughter had always been a fighter, coming back from the brink of death on at least four occasions following the accident.

With her two other daughters, Janine and Michelle, at her side, she the family had been through a “living hell”, unable to think about anything other than Chantal and her fight.

She said: “In the past six months she had been showing considerable signs of improvement and she had even said the odd word and was aware of us being there with her.

“She was on the up, it was very slow, but it was positive progress and just two weeks before she died a Harley Street doctor had said he was optimistic for her.

“We know she was not going to be as she was before but she was going to have some quality of life and we were all feeling very positive as she was making good progress.”

Mrs Morgan said her daughter's improvement was due to the care and dedication of the staff at the Leonard Cheshire home in Great Bromley where they ignored the pessimistic expectations.

Chantal loved their company and responded well to the stimulus and her strength grew so much that she was able to have her friends visit her for a Mamma Mia! party in her room.

On December 11 Chantal had enjoyed a visit from carol singers from a local primary school but in the afternoon she was rushed to Colchester General Hospital.

Her family and friends were told and were able to be at her side when she passed away.

Mrs Morgan added: “It has been like ripples in a pond - so many people have been affected by what happened to her that day.

“People say you come to terms with it, but you do not. You just cope with it. It has been absolutely devastating for everybody.”

Chantal's other sister, Janine, 26, said: “She was very sweet, very likeable and that is why she had so many friends.”

Last night, Chantal's closest friends paid a joint tribute, saying: “Chantal has touched our lives and we will remember her forever.

“She will always hold a special place in our hearts and we couldn't have asked for a better friend. She will forever be missed.”

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