Creswell's 'smiling' Sarah dies aged 34

THE family of a Creswell woman that passed away in February after living with a mysterious genetic disorder have paid their respects to a 'happy' lady that was always smiling.

Sarah Jean Woolley, 34, passed away peacefully on Monday 16th February at Bassetlaw Hospital after suffering from an unknown disease from the age of two.

She had been living with her parents, at Rogers Avenue, after becoming too ill to attend Whitwell Day Care Centre, where she had been residing since leaving Fairfield School at the age of 19.

The disease, which Sarah’s parents John and Kath Woolley first mistook for muscular dystrophy, bewildered doctors who first diagnosed a similar condition on their son, David, who passed away over 30 years ago before turning 17.

Sarah’s mother, Kath Wooley, of Rogers Avenue, Cresswell, described her a happy person, as far back as the earlier stages of the condition, when she was aware of what was going on around her.

“She had a very good sense of humour; she laughed at other people and their mistakes,” said Kath, “Later on she would laugh at carers if they didn’t know what they were doing and if they were talking about their partners, she would laugh with them.”

The condition, which deteriorated over the years, left Sarah with respiratory problems and epilepsy, which saw her in and out of Bassetlaw Hospital.

For Kath and John, Sarah’s move into home care meant dedicating their lives to looking after her.

“We never went out anywhere - we had no life, except round Sarah,” she said, “This year, we didn’t know to go away for the weekend or not. Now, we don’t know what we’re going to do.”

Earlier last week, the Woolley’s two other daughters, Sharon Craik and Carol Tweed, paid thanks to their parents for thier efforts.

“Me and my sister want to pass on our thanks to how dedicated they’ve been to her throughout her life,” said Sharon. “They’ve done everything they possibly could and have given up their life to care for her.”

l A funeral for Sarah was held on Friday 27th February at Chesterfield Crematorium.