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Mother pays tribute to ‘beautiful and happy’ Brooke, who died before Christmas aged just 23

PUBLISHED: 19:01 03 January 2020

Brooke Richardson with her boyfriend Michael Wood  Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILY

Brooke Richardson with her boyfriend Michael Wood Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILY

CONTRIBUTED BY FAMILY

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved “bubbly and happy” 23-year-old Suffolk woman who dedicated her life to helping others before losing her life in a medical procedure.

Brooke Richardson with her mother, sisters Asha and Sienna and brother Rocco  Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILYBrooke Richardson with her mother, sisters Asha and Sienna and brother Rocco Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILY

Brooke Richardson, from Rendlesham, died while undergoing an Ajmaline heart test at St Thomas' Hospital in London on December 12 last year.

The procedure, which pumps the chemical into a patient's vein to help diagnose the heart disorder Brugada syndrome, would normally see a patient return home after two hours.

Sadly, the former senior support worker at Byways Residential Home in Saxmundham never made it home.

Mum Lisa Richardson, 42, said: "She was just so bubbly and happy and always had a smile on her face - she would make you laugh until you cried.

Brooke Richardson was studying at the University of Greenwich  Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILYBrooke Richardson was studying at the University of Greenwich Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILY

"She was my best friend in the entire world and we had the most amazing relationship. We were a team, and we did everything together."

A life spent helping others

The MSc therapeutic counselling student at the University of Greenwich first experienced heart problems when she was 11 months old, but had never let the prospect of ill health prevent her from living life to the fullest while helping others in need.

During her 23 years, the former Farlingaye High School pupil had graduated from university, found love, seen the world and set her sights on a career giving back to her community.

Brooke Richardson passed away during an Ajmaline test at St Thomas' Hospital   Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILYBrooke Richardson passed away during an Ajmaline test at St Thomas' Hospital Picture: COURTESY OF BROOKE RICHARDSON'S FAMILY

A void at Christmas

Miss Richardson said her younger sisters Asha, 16 and Sienna, 14 and brother Rocco, 11, have been left devastated.

Miss Richardson added: "We are absolutely heartbroken that she is not here anymore. With it happening before Christmas, we had got her all her presents, she had bought ours... It was so unexpected.

"It hasn't quite sunk in yet. It is so difficult to let your head get into the idea that it's all real. It just feels like she's away and she'll come back home to us all soon.

"I am so glad and thankful we have so many fantastic memories of her that I will cherish forever."

It is understood an investigation into her death will be launched.

A spokeswoman from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are extremely saddened whenever there is an unexpected death and we provide appropriate support to families. Due to patient confidentiality we are not able to comment on the specifics of any case."

A colourful goodbye

Local motorcycle club Black Shuck MCC is assembling a group of bikers to lead the funeral procession alongside Brooke's father Lee before her funeral at Seven Hills Crematorium, Nacton, on Thursday, January 9.

Miss Richardson has requested those attending wear a piece of leopard print in Brooke's honour.

A Just Giving page set up by fellow Rendlesham resident David Fairbank has raised more than £5,000 for the family.

Those wishing to donate can do so here.


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