Christmas tragedy as Swaffham man, 39, dies

Isabel Tigue with her son Patrick Tigue (13) at home in Swaffham ANL-160201-122008009

Isabel Tigue with her son Patrick Tigue (13) at home in Swaffham ANL-160201-122008009

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The partner of a 39-year-old man who collapsed and died while walking home over Christmas has spoken of her anguish.

Richard George is believed to have suffered a fatal heart attack opposite the BP garage in Swaffham on the morning of Boxing Day.

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His partner, Isabel Tigue, has praised the work of the emergency services to try to save him.

But she has also pleaded for others not to ignore potential warning signs that they may be unwell.

She said: “We had been telling him to go to the doctors for ages and ages and he wouldn’t go.

“He had been getting a lot of indigestion pains in his arms.

“There’s a history on his dad’s side and we believed there were problems but he wouldn’t face it. Unfortunately, he just wouldn’t go.”

Health experts say that, while most patients who have a heart attack will experience severe chest pain, some will only have more minor pain similar to indigestion. The symptoms of indigestion are also similar to those of coronary disease.

And Miss Tigue said: “I never expected a knock on the door from the police on Boxing Day morning. It’s terrible.

“The emergency services couldn’t revive him but they were there and helped him as much as they could and they did a great job. I’d like to thank them for what they did.”

Mr George, who had been in a relationship with Miss Tigue for almost two years, had been walking home from the town’s Asda store when he was taken ill.

She has paid tribute to him, particularly for his positive influence on her 13-year-old son Patrick, who has autism.

She said: “He would do anything for anyone. He had a heart of gold.

“He was such a good stepdad. He brought Patrick on so much and was a real father figure to him.”

Miss Tigue says she plans to apply to Swaffham’s town council for permission to place a permanent memorial at the site where Mr George died.

His funeral will take place at St Nicholas’ Church, Dereham on Friday, January 15, at 1.30pm.