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MUM CAROL DIES ON HER 21st BIRTHDAY; Brave girl didn't want to call doctor.

THE mother of a 12-month-old girl has died of a brain haemorrhage on her 21st birthday.

Carol France, who had just become engaged, fell ill the day before but insisted she didn't want to trouble a doctor.

Yesterday, her devastated mother Marilyn fought back tears as she told how she had to watch her healthy daughter die within hours.

She said: "It was all so sudden. One minute she was excitedly planning a party to celebrate her engagement, the next she was lying unconscious in a hospital bed. We still can't believe it."

Mecca Bingo worker Carol, from Easterhouse, Glasgow, complained of feeling unwell last Wednesday morning.

The young mum, who had never had any serious illnesses before, called in sick for work and her worried parents suggested she see a doctor.

But Carol - whose boyfriend Frank Kerr, 23, proposed on Hogmanay - said she didn't have the energy to go to her local health centre.

At 4.30pm she told her parents she didn't think she was ill enough to trouble her GP to make a home visit.

Marilyn said: "She felt a bit sick, but it didn't seem anything that bad. Later, she said her legs were sore and stiff and I told her she should see a doctor. But she said she was OK.

"As the afternoon went on, she felt worse and I told her we should call an emergency doctor. But she just said, 'Mum, it's not bad enough to get someone out. I'd rather see my own doctor anyway."

However, Carol's condition deteriorated and by the evening she was seriously ill. At 6.30pm, her family rushed her to the city's Royal Infirmary. Within minutes of her arrival she lost consciousness.

Marilyn, 49, who lives with her 55-year-old husband George just a few streets from Carol's home, said: "She sat there in the hospital reception and told me she could no longer feel her hands. It was the last thing she ever said."

Doctors initially feared Carol had meningitis. With no intensive care beds available at the Royal, she was transferred to the Western Infirmary.

She died at 9.24am the next day, on her 21st birthday. Post-mortem tests confirmed the cause was a massive brain haemorrhage. It is not known what triggered the condition.

Yesterday, her fiance Frank, who also works at the Mecca Bingo on Glasgow's Auchengill Road, was too upset to talk about the tragedy.

Her sister Lynne, 20, who was to have a joint engagement party on Valentine's Day with her new fiance and Carol and Frank, was also too distraught to speak.

Their father George, described Carol's death as devastating. He said: "We're all shattered. Carol and Lynne were really looking forward to their party on February 14th. It was an exciting time for all of us. Now this. It is so hard to take in."

Marilyn and George are now caring for Carol's daughter Jody, from another relationship.

Marilyn said: "Jody was devoted to her mum and Frank was like a father to her."

Carol's funeral will take place today at Barlanark Greyfriars Church in Edinburgh Road.

Her older brother Peter, 30, who is in the Navy in New Zealand, flew home to be with the family. He said: "It is so sad I am coming home in these circumstances."

Staff at the Mecca Bingo voted to close the hall as a mark of respect on the day customer service assistant Carol died. Manager Grant Bell said: "Our hearts go out to her family."
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Author:Oakeshott, Isabel
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 19, 2000
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