TRIBUTE has been paid to a mother-of-three from Seaford who died earlier this month.
Tracey Smith, who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in October 2008, passed away on December 7 at the Eastbourne DGH.
Prior to her death the 32-year-old bought her three children their Christmas presents and wrapped them ready for the big day.
Mrs Smith, of Deal Avenue, was described as ‘courageous’ by her husband Paul who has vowed to make Christmas as special as possible for their children Holly, 12, Maximus, nine and four-year-old Noah.
Paying tribute to his wife he said, “People were really impressed by her strength.
“Her family and friends were so important to her and it is not surprising she had already got the children’s presents.”
In March last year the Gazette ran a story after Mrs Smith campaigned for people to come forward and potentially save a life by giving blood.
At the time she was undergoing a bone marrow transplant and was urging people to come forward after being told the operation was her only chance of survival.
She said at the time, “It’s really simple, you give blood and you’re on the register but if they phone up because there is a match just because you are registered it doesn’t mean you are obliged to go any further.
“The person wanting the bone marrow transplant could be a seven-year-old or a 30-year-old mum of three like me and I think it’s quite an honour to be in a position where you have the ability to save somebody.”
In April 2009 she had a bone marrow transplant and was transferred to King’s College Hospital in London.
The Anthony Nolan Trust launched a worldwide hunt for a suitable donor after a match could not be found in this country.
After a donor was traced Tracey had two transplants, the second in July, but they both failed.
She was due to have more treatment with donor cells but her condition deteriorated and she developed pneumonia.
Her husband said Tracey was grateful to the donors for her transplants and he is now urging people to sign up to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register - visit www.anthonynolan.org or call 0303 303 0303.
He also paid tribute to staff on the Pevensey Ward at the DGH.