Family tribute to 'fantastic' Nicola

A MOTHER has relived the horror of breaking into her “fantastic” daughter's home to find her lying dead with her 13-month baby beside her.Karen Bassey became worried when 21-year-old Nicola - described by her family as a girl who “lived life to the maximum” - uncharacteristically failed to telephone her.

A MOTHER has relived the horror of breaking into her “fantastic” daughter's home to find her lying dead with her 13-month baby beside her.

Karen Bassey became worried when 21-year-old Nicola - described by her family as a girl who “lived life to the maximum” - uncharacteristically failed to telephone her.

Nicola had only recently celebrated her 21st birthday when she tragically died after suffering an epileptic seizure at her home in West Mersea, near Colchester, on Sunday.

Mrs Bassey, 46, became concerned when Nicola did not call her when she got home, as she would always do.


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She said: “We'd had a lovely family get together, and she went home at about 8.30. I rung her but she didn't answer, and I felt something was wrong.”

When she received no answer, Mrs Bassey went to her flat and, after getting a neighbour to break down the door, found Nicola and baby Ellie together.

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Despite her efforts to resuscitate her, Nicola did not recover.

Nicola, a keen horse rider, had experienced epilepsy as a child but her family said that her medication had kept the condition under control and it had not affected her for many years.

Mrs Bassey and her husband Roy will now bring up Ellie, helped by Nicola's sister, Sam, 17.

Mr and Mrs Bassey, of Tiptree, said Nicola had an amazing ability to see the positive in everything and never had a bad word to say about anyone.

Mr Bassey, 47, said: “She was always happy, always smiling. She was a bit of a joker and just loved to take the mickey.

“She was very practical, and could turn her hand to anything. She treated everybody the same, and never had a bad word to say about anyone.”

Sam added Nicola had made friends wherever she had worked and was so sociable and fun-loving that the response from her friends had been overwhelming.

Sam, who lives in Witham with her partner, said: “She still loved to go out with her friends when she could but she was always ringing up to check on Ellie, to make sure she was alright.

“She was already quite responsible but changed so much and adapted to being a mum so well. Ellie always came first, before anything and anybody.

“She packed so much into just 21 years.”

Nicola's grandmother, Pam Hailey, said: “She lived life to the maximum. She was a brilliant girl, and was really looking forward to going back to work. It was very important to her to be independent.”

The family said Nicola was a spirited and out-going individual, who had taken passionately to motherhood.

She had recently brought her own flat and moved away from her family but relished any opportunity to spend time with them.

On the day she died, she had spent the day with her family, including swimming, a family lunch and a visit to a horse show.

Mr Bassey said: “We've had an amazing response to the news; flowers, cards and visits from all sorts of people.

“We would like to thank all her friends for the kindness they have shown, it is greatly appreciated.”

A funeral service will take place on Wednesday, September 6 at Colchester Crematorium at 12.30pm. All relatives and friends are welcome to attend but are asked not to wear black.

Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures and affects 456,000 people in the UK.

There are about 1,000 epilepsy-related deaths each year.

Epilepsy can affect anyone, at any age and from any walk of life.

There are around 40 different types of seizure and a person may have more than one type.

People are usually diagnosed before the age of 20, or after the age of 60, and, with the right medication, most people who experience the seizures lead perfectly normal lives.

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