Tributes to much-loved Laura, 28, after Covid death
- Credit: The Gentry family
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a popular woman who died after a week long battle with coronavirus, aged just 28.
Family and friends of Laura Gentry, from Kessingland near Lowestoft, have described a "warm-hearted woman" who was much-loved and "could light up any room".
Her family said that Laura had been suffering with abdominal pains, and she was admitted to James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston just before the New Year.
She spent New Year's Eve in hospital, with possible acute appendicitis, but while in hospital she tested positive for coronavirus and "began to get very poorly", according to the family.
The care worker was put onto a ventilator in intensive care, but the family said: "Sadly after a week of fighting our beloved Laura lost her fight on Sunday morning, January 17."
Sister Amy said: "My sister Laura was sadly taken from us far too soon at only 28 years old.
"She was a beloved daughter, sister, fiancée, niece, cousin and friend to so many - she could light up any room.
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"As a much-loved friend, clearly in the short time she was on this earth she touched so many hearts."
Candlelit vigils were held on Wednesday, January 20 at 7pm as a friend of Laura’s organised for people to light a candle in memory of the former Kessingland Primary, Gisleham Middle and Sir John Leman High School pupil.
And the strength of feeling within the community was apparent this week - as a crowdfunding JustGiving page, set up by Amy "to give my beloved sister the send off she deserves", had soon smashed its fundraising target.
Within hours of it being set up, the £1,000 total had been surpassed with almost 200 people raising £3,265 in online donations at the time of going to press.
Amy said: "Our thanks go out to everyone for the support and messages.
"We never expected a thing but I am absolutely blown away by the donations and love on the JustGiving page.
"We appreciate all those who have sent their love, thoughts, memories and contributed to share their feelings for the loss of Laura."
Tributes such as "a lovely child who grew into a warm-hearted woman" and "such a bright bubbly girl who will be missed" dominate, as friends and the community expressed sorrow at the "tragic" loss of someone "taken far too young".
Having lived in Kessingland all her life, sister Amy said: "Laura was a little ray of light from the moment she was born - she could light up any room."
Having worked at Pakefield riding school for a few years, Laura met most of her close friends, teaching and helping with the riding for disabled.
The family said: "Her love of horses continued when she had her own horses Dice and Jackson, while her bulldog Buster was her everything.
"Laura absolutely adored singing and would sing anywhere she could - at work, the car, the shower you name it."
Having gone on to work in retail, most recently Laura had been involved in care work, which she "adored" according to her sister.
Amy said: "After meeting Jack Brighouse in around 2016, Laura got engaged to her beloved Jack in May 2018 and they were slowly starting to plan a wedding.
"Laura we missed you today, just like we missed you yesterday.
"Just like we will tomorrow and for the rest of our lives."
With funeral arrangements still to be confirmed, Laura leaves her mum Caroline Carter and stepfather Mark Carter, father Paul Gentry, sister Amy Gentry and fiancé Jack Brighouse.