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Fundraising appeal for widower and three-year-old daughter after Harlow carer’s tragic death

News / Tue 5th Mar 2024 at 12:10pm

NEIGHBOURS desperately tried to save the life of a “wonderful” carer who collapsed in Bishop’s Stortford and died two days later.

Despite feeling unwell, Harlow mum Chidimma Susan Ezenyili, known as Suzy, had struggled to work because she was determined not to let down her elderly client. She had been caring for 86-year-old Ian Hale for the past five months.

Ian’s daughter, Catherine Segal, said: “She was driven there by her husband with their three-year-old daughter as she wasn’t feeling well but didn’t want to let my dad down.”

Suzy and her husband Friday came to the UK from their homeland, Nigeria, where she was a qualified lawyer, in August last year to give their toddler daughter Mandy a better life. Both worked as carers on sponsorship visas.

Catherine said that when Suzy collapsed on Thursday February 22, she stopped breathing and did not have a pulse.

“Naturally, her husband started shouting for help. The neighbourhood raced to help. Myself and my husband ran outside along with our next-door neighbour and our neighbour from across the road.”

While Catherine dialled 999 and took instructions from the emergency services, neighbour Tracey Clarke took little Mandy into her home to shield her from the unfolding tragedy, before returning to help.

Resident Armando Villa ran to Havers Community Centre to get a portable defibrillator and Catherine’s husband, Saul, performed chest compressions in a desperate attempt to revive Suzy.

Catherine said: “We had two GoodSAM first responders arrive shortly after to assist. The community first responder along with several ambulances, police and the critical care team arrived to take over attempts to save her life and were successful in getting her on life support in the ambulance.”

Suzy was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where doctors at the neurosciences critical care unit discovered she had suffered a severe brain haemorrhage.

Catherine and Suzy’s manager from Harlow-based Care at Hand Ltd, Elisha Newberry, went to the hospital with Friday to support him.

Catherine said: “Sadly, life support was turned off two days later, on February 24, and she passed with her husband by her side.”

She said: “Suzy came here as a carer to fill a need in our community. She was qualified in law in Nigeria and was planning to attain her qualifications to practise law here after her sponsorship as a carer finished.

“She was a really good carer. Kind, considerate and always willing to help no matter what the circumstances.

Her dream was for her daughter, Mandy, to attend school in the UK and to make a new life here where she would have the opportunities that Suzy and Friday never had growing up in Nigeria.”

Catherine has helped set up a JustGiving appeal to help Friday and Mandy. She said: “They’re here on their own and will struggle without access to public funds. Friday is also working on a sponsorship visa but their family has no access to public resources to help them during this tragic time.

“As a lone parent now, Friday will struggle to work and care for Mandy without any support.

Her dream was for her daughter, Mandy, to attend school in the UK and to make a new life here where she would have the opportunities that Suzy and Friday never had growing up in Nigeria.”

Catherine has helped set up a JustGiving appeal to help Friday and Mandy. She said: “They’re here on their own and will struggle without access to public funds. Friday is also working on a sponsorship visa but their family has no access to public resources to help them during this tragic time.

“As a lone parent now, Friday will struggle to work and care for Mandy without any support.

“Friday has constantly expressed his gratitude to the community and first responders who helped on that tragic day. He has given us permission to set up the JustGiving page.”

To contribute, see https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/InMemoryOfChidimmaSusanEzenyili

Suzy’s funeral is set to be held in the town on Friday March 30 at a time and venue to be confirmed.

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