‘She has gone to be an angel now’ - mum’s heartbreak at tragic death of Hope, 22
- Credit: Archant
A mum heartbroken at the death of her “amazing” 22-year-old daughter from health complications caused by Type 1 diabetes has urged others to be more aware of the condition, saying: “I don’t want another parent to feel like I do.”
Family and friends have been left devastated at the unexpected loss of Hope May Denning, of Bury St Edmunds, who mother Lorna Denning described as “one of the kindest, sweetest people you could ever meet”.
Despite challenges with diabetes and her mental health, Hope became a source of strength to many who knew her, with friend Jade Hurn saying: “She never turned down an opportunity to help anyone.”
Lorna added: “I wish it had been me and not her. The world is missing a great person.”
Yet despite the immense sadness at her death on May 25, shortly before her 23rd birthday, those closest to her are eager to keep Hope’s positive spirit alive – by raising money in the fight against Type 1 diabetes.
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Jade, who is completing Diabetes UK’s One Million Steps Challenge, said: “We’re trying to focus on her life and stop another mum going through what Lorna has been through.”
‘She would do anything for anyone’
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Hope was born and raised in Bury St Edmunds and quickly developed a passion for art and make-up, earning a diploma in graphic design from West Suffolk College.
Even at a young age, Hope became an inspiration – with mum Lorna recalling how she “sat by my bedside and read to me every day” when the 46-year-old was in a coma several years ago.
Describing Hope as a “strong” and “amazing girl”, she said: “She was one of the most wonderful people.
“She was my best friend, and not just because she was my daughter.
“She was one of the kindest, sweetest people you could ever meet. She would do anything for anyone.
“I’m blessed to have had her the time that I did. The world has lost a lot, but she has gone to be an angel now.”
‘My child didn’t want to die’
Lorna is now keen to educate others about the consequences of Type 1 diabetes, so they get help before it is too late and understand the importance of treatment.
“My child didn’t want to die,” she said.
“If we can all do something to help this condition, that would be great. I don’t want another parent to feel like I do.”
Jade, 24, of Stowmarket, who met Hope at a mental health support group and described her as a bedrock of support in her life, said: “The illness that she lived with is largely misunderstood or unknown by many and is rarely talking about as much as it needs to be. It’s an illness you don’t get taught about.
“This girl was an amazing soul. She was a young child at heart – quite a creative, bubbly girl. She loved her make-up as well.
“It is heart-breaking. She reached out to so many people. She did so much and didn’t deserve what she got.
“If we could save just one of those 500 that die prematurely a week, then we have continued Hope’s caring ethos.”
In a recent blog post for her fundraising, Jade wrote: “It’s not fair that she never got a chance to do the things everyone should do like get married and buy a house, have children and own a car.
“This illness that she lived with is largely misunderstood or unknown by many and is rarely talked about as much as it needs to be.
“You can be a reason to talk, Hope, even if it’s one life you save - your death will save others just by talking and making people see the dangers of this illness you bravely faced, I’ll make you proud.
“We miss you all so much and we will never forget your beautiful face.”
Family and friends held a social distancing party to mark what would have been Hope’s 23rd birthday on June 9.
Hope’s funeral takes place at West Suffolk Crematorium, in Risby, on Thursday, July 2.
Relatives and friends also plan to hold a celebration at Halloween, which was Hope’s favourite event of the year.
To donate to Jade’s One Million Step Challenge, visit her fundraising page.
About Type 1 Diabetes
Diabetes UK describes Type 1 diabetes as a “serious, lifelong” illness where your blood sugar level is too high, because your body cannot produce insulin.
It causes symptoms such as being tired and thirsty, as well as needing to urinate a lot, especially at night.
However, left untreated it can cause major health problems and for organs to fail.
It is important to distinguish between Type 1 diabetes, which affects people all of their lives and has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle, and Type 2, where those things can be a factor.
For more information, visit the Diabetes UK website.