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Tragic death of young mum

PUBLISHED: 17:42 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:44 03 July 2010

SAD LOSS: Clare Secker, 19, pictured with her baby Tyler

SAD LOSS: Clare Secker, 19, pictured with her baby Tyler

Laura Bagshaw

CLARE Secker proudly cradles her baby son - full of smiles as she contemplates a new home and celebrating her baby's first birthday.

However, just weeks after this photograph was taken her parents are planning her funeral after what was thought to be flu, took a turn for the worse.

CLARE Secker proudly cradles her baby son - full of smiles as she contemplates a new home and celebrating her baby's first birthday.

However, just weeks after this photograph was taken her parents are planning her funeral after what was thought to be flu, took a turn for the worse.

The 19-year-old from Gorleston died of bronchial pneumonia just three days after an out-of-hours medical service told her family she had flu and advised taking paracetamol and drinking plenty of fluids.

NHS Yarmouth and Waveney has launched an investigation after Clare's parents, Michael and Janice Secker, said more should have been done by the out-of-hours medical service Take Care Now, based in Ipswich.

Tributes came flooding in this week for the popular teenager who was looking forward to moving into a flat on the Shrublands estate with son Tyler who will celebrate his first birthday on Thursday .

A page set up in memory of Clare on website gonetoosoon.org had received almost 3,000 visitors by Wednesday lunchtime.

Mr Secker, of Sussex Road, said things could have been different if Clare had seen a doctor.

He said: “I honestly think if there was a doctor on duty and someone had come out and seen her, things could have been different.”

Clare had been feeling unwell for several days and on Boxing Day her mother called the doctor. As the surgery was closed her call was put through to the out-of-hours service.

“They asked for Clare's symptoms and told my wife they were very busy,” explained Mr Secker, 52. Clare had a high temperature, felt weak and wasn't eating. “We were advised to give her paracetamol and make sure she drank plenty of fluids,” said Mr Secker.

However, in the early hours last Monday Clare took a turn for the worse and after struggling to get out of bed she collapsed.

Her parents called for an ambulance which arrived within minutes but despite several attempts to resuscitate Clare in the ambulance and later at the James Paget University Hospital, she died.

Paying tribute to her daughter Mrs Secker said: “She was so loving and caring and had a heart of gold. She was a wonderful mum and we will miss her so much. Clare has been taken away from us but she will never be forgotten.”

Speaking to the Mercury this week Faye Secker, 18, paid tribute to her sister who she described as “a loving popular girl who didn't have a bad bone in her body.”

Miss Secker said: “She was always happy, never miserable, and loved dancing and singing. She had adapted really well to being a mum, she loved it. Tyler came first in any decision she made and she was really looking forward to moving into the flat.”

Clare enjoyed chatting to friends on Facebook and Bebo where many have left tributes to the young mum who also leaves behind brothers Ben, 24 and Bill, 21.

Clare was a former pupil of Stradbroke Primary, Peterhouse Middle and Oriel High School, all in Gorleston, and after leaving school at 16 worked at The Piccolo Restaurant in Beach Road.

Faye had been staying with her boyfriend in Caister last Sunday and woke to find dozens of missed calls on her mobile phone which had been on silent. “My dad picked me up and when I got in all my family was gathered round. My mum told me that Clare had died. I just shouted 'no' and began to cry.”

Reflecting on the tragic circumstances of her sister's death Faye urged people suffering an illness to get a second opinion.

“People might see it as time wasting but it could be more serious than flu. This is an example of how bad it could be.”

Dr Chris Price, medical director for NHS Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “We are in the midst of an inquiry as to what happened as a result of her mother's telephone call to the out-of-hours service on Boxing Day and in the days subsequent to that call.

“We will act on any findings that suggest the care she received fell below the standards we expect.”

Clare's funeral will be held at Gorleston Crematorium next Tuesday at 1.20pm.


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