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‘They gave me time to hear him say he loved me’ - Widow thanks hospital staff as friends and colleagues celebrate man’s life

PUBLISHED: 17:12 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 20:47 18 September 2018

Celebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Celebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Dozens of people turned out to pay their respects to an “amazing” man who did so much to help others.

Oz Osborne, 46, and from Great Yarmouth died on August 18 from organ failure caused by a haemorrhage.

By the time he got to James Paget University Hospital (JPUH), in Gorleston, he had lost two litres of blood and his liver and kidneys shut down.

His death was unexpected and left family and friends in a state of shock.

Today (Monday), nearly a month after his death, friends, colleagues and family gathered to remember him at a public event at the Forum, in Norwich.

Celebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich. Director and fellow co-founder of The 12th Man mental health help group, Nick Little, speaking at the event.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYCelebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich. Director and fellow co-founder of The 12th Man mental health help group, Nick Little, speaking at the event. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Osborne’s friend Nick Little, co-founder of their organisation The Outsiders, said: “He didn’t want a funeral or anything traditional but we wanted to do something.”

Speeches were made and many of the projects Mr Osborne had worked on were represented, including 12th Man, a scheme started in Norwich which encouraged men to talk to their barbers about their mental health.

As well as helping people professionally, Mr Osborne’s widow Lisa said they met when he helped her with her mental health.

The 46-year-old, who works at East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston, said: “He kind of got into the mental health work through supporting me. He took me and made me fat and happy.”

Celebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYCelebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The pair met at university in Sunderland 26 years ago and Mrs Osborne joked they were one of those couples who “actually liked each other”.

She said: “He was my best friend, he was my hero.”

Mr Osborne was born near Ipswich and lived in Sunderland and Oxford before moving to Great Yarmouth in 2001.

It was in the town, where Mrs Osborne still lives, he met Mr Little, who said: “We met and were just mates straight away and we did everything together for the next 10 years.”

Celebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYCelebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Mr Little, 37, and from Norwich, said: “We only ever had one argument and that was over whether Formula One was a sport or not.”

Mrs Osborne said she would remember lots of football away days. Mr Osborne was a big Ipswich Town fan and had got her into the sport too.

She said: “We would go on holiday in this country quite a lot and just walk around lovely little places.”

Mrs Osborne said she would remember her husband’s “courage of his convictions” as well as his sense of humour.

Celebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYCelebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

She joked that he would often pick her up from work in Gorleston and drive all the way to their home near Yarmouth Racecourse without her able to get a word in.

“He was absolutely hilarious, he was just so funny,” she said. “But he could really talk.”

She thanked staff at the JPUH for their care which she said was “amazing”.

“They gave me time to hear him say he loved me,” she said.

Celebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYCelebration of the life of Oz Osborne at the Forum in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

She added: “I think I’ve been in shock a lot, very numb, and it’s been really hard because he did everything for me.. But everyone has just been amazing. I’ll remember him for how much he changed my life. He made me into the person I am today and he always said I made him into the person he was as well.”

Mr Little added: “I will remember him every day of my life, I will remember him through the work, I promised him I would not give up on and I would continue The Outsiders and the 12th Man project, we will make that his legacy.”

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