'The best listener' – daughter remembers former nurse Valerie

Valerie and Luisa Fletcher

Former nurse Valerie Fletcher ran the Beaches Tanning and Beauty Salon in Holland-on-Sea with her daughter from Clacton Luisa Fletcher - Credit: Supplied by Luisa Fletcher

A former nurse has been remembered for being a 'typical, strong matron' who was 'your biggest cheerleader' following her death from lung cancer.

Valerie Fletcher, of Thorpe-le-Soken, died at Colchester Hospital in June at the age of 78 and her funeral was held on Wednesday. 

Her daughter Luisa Fletcher, from Clacton, said her mum was a former nurse, and worked at St Mary's Hospital in London.

Ms Fletcher said: "She was a typical matron, strong. 

"She saw the positive and never got down. She was your biggest cheerleader and always the best listener."

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In later years, the mum and daughter purchased the Beaches Tanning and Beauty Salon in Holland-on-Sea and ran it together.

Mrs Fletcher was diagnosed with lung cancer last year after waiting for a scan.  

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Her family say that as services shifted from face-to-face to phone and online appointments it was difficult to understand what was happening.

"I don't want anyone to go through what we went through," said Ms Fletcher. "Going through this you are not alone and there are plenty of places [like Macmillian] to help you ask the right questions."

The loving daughter moved back home with her mum, and dad Ian, while Mrs Fletcher received palliative radiotherapy during lockdown.

She said she is grateful to have had those months together, but admits she did miss her fiancé Andrew Watt, a policeman, who she was separated from during this time to keep her mum safe.

"The one good thing was to spend all that time with mum," she said. 

However, Mrs Fletcher's condition worsened and she was admitted to hospital.

"She deteriorated so fast," Ms Fletcher said.

She said the family is still "shocked" by Mrs Fletcher's death and added that "Colchester Hospital was so kind and so gentle with us."

Andrew Watt and Luisa Fletcher. 

Andrew Watt and Luisa Fletcher are both doing the hike for Macmillian - Credit: Supplied by Luisa Fletcher

In memory of her mum, Ms Fletcher will take on the Dedham Vale Macmillan Mighty Hike, which her mum wanted to see her do, and told all the nurses treating her how proud she was of her daughter. 

Ms Fletcher will take part in the upcoming Dedham Vale Mighty Hike on Saturday, July 31 with her fiance Mr Watts. 

To donate please go here justgiving.com/fundraising/gofletcher2021.

You can contact Macmillian on 0808 808 00 00, seven days a week, 8am to 8pm.

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