A young mother’s life cut short by a rare disease

Suzanne Gunn, a 35-year-old mother from Wallyford, East Lothian, died unexpectedly on January 3, 2024, just two days before her 36th birthday. She had been suffering from a rare auto-immune disease called granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), which causes inflammation of the blood vessels and organs.

A bubbly and loving person who enjoyed life

Suzanne was described by her friends and family as a bubbly and loving person who enjoyed life. She had a passion for music, dancing, and travelling. She was also a devoted mother to her 11-year-old daughter, Lily, who was her “world”.

Suzanne had been working as a customer service advisor at Sky for over 10 years, where she was well-liked and respected by her colleagues. She was also an active member of her local community, volunteering at the Wallyford Community Centre and the Wallyford Primary School.

Suzanne’s friend, Kelly McLean, said: “She was such a people person, she loved life and she loved her daughter more than anything. She was always smiling and laughing, she had a great sense of humour. She was the life and soul of any party.”

A rare and unpredictable disease that affects the lungs and kidneys

Suzanne was diagnosed with GPA in 2019, after experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, and sinus infections. GPA is a rare and unpredictable disease that affects the lungs and kidneys, and can also damage other organs such as the eyes, ears, nose, and skin.

According to the Vasculitis Foundation, GPA affects about 3 in 100,000 people in the UK, and can occur at any age, but is more common in middle-aged adults. The cause of GPA is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues.

 young mother’s life cut short

The treatment for GPA involves taking medications that suppress the immune system, such as steroids and chemotherapy drugs. These medications can help reduce the inflammation and prevent organ damage, but they also have serious side effects, such as increased risk of infections, bone loss, and diabetes.

A sudden downturn that led to her death

Suzanne had been managing her condition with regular check-ups and medication, and was able to lead a normal life. However, over Christmas 2023, she took a sudden downturn and had to be admitted to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for emergency procedures.

Suzanne’s mother, Margaret Gunn, said: “She was doing fine until Christmas, she was looking forward to celebrating her birthday with her daughter and friends. But then she got very ill and had to go to the hospital. They did everything they could, but it was too late. She passed away peacefully in her sleep.”

Margaret added: “She was a fighter, she never gave up. She was always positive and optimistic, even when she was in pain. She was an inspiration to us all.”

A fundraising campaign to support her daughter and raise awareness

Suzanne’s friends and family have launched a fundraising campaign to support her daughter Lily and raise awareness of GPA. The campaign, called “Suzanne’s Legacy”, aims to raise £10,000 for Lily’s education and future, as well as for the Vasculitis UK charity, which provides information and support for people with vasculitis.

Kelly, who set up the campaign, said: “We want to honour Suzanne’s memory and help her daughter, who has lost her mum too soon. We also want to raise awareness of this rare and devastating disease, which can affect anyone at any time. We hope that by sharing Suzanne’s story, we can help others who are going through the same thing, and maybe even save some lives.”

The campaign has already received over £7,000 in donations from generous supporters, who have left heartfelt messages of condolence and admiration for Suzanne. Kelly said: “We are overwhelmed by the response, we are so grateful for everyone’s kindness and generosity. We know Suzanne would be proud and happy to see how much she was loved and respected.”

By Axel Piper

Axel Piper is a renowned news writer based in Scotland, known for his insightful coverage of all the trending news stories. With his finger on the pulse of Scotland's ever-changing landscape, Axel brings the latest updates and breaking news to readers across the nation. His extensive knowledge of current affairs, combined with his impeccable research skills, allows him to provide accurate and comprehensive reporting on a wide range of topics. From politics to entertainment, sports to technology, Axel's articles are engaging and informative, keeping readers informed and up to date.

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