Double loss for family inspires heartfelt efforts in South Wootton

Charity Disco being organised by Gerry Bailey, seen here with her son Daniel Bailey, and holding family pictures.''(not in pic Gerry's daughter Hannah Bailey) ANL-140810-092601009
Charity Disco being organised by Gerry Bailey, seen here with her son Daniel Bailey, and holding family pictures.''(not in pic Gerry's daughter Hannah Bailey) ANL-140810-092601009

A grieving widow from South Wootton is holding a charity disco following the deaths of her mother and husband within just five months.

The pair, who were both fit and healthy, died suddenly of heart failure, leaving Gerry Bailey, 46 to pick up the piece and mourn the loss with her two children.

Mrs Bailey is holding a charity disco for the British Heart Foundation, with a cocktail bar and a raffle, at South Wootton Village Hall on November 14.

Mrs Bailey said: “It was traumatic – I was so close to both of them and it was so out of the blue. My husband had been to the gym and cycled home, he was a fit person, and then within 30 minutes of arriving home he was dead.”

Allan Bailey, 41, worked as a postman and liked to keep fit, he never smoked or drank. Shortly after arriving home in November 2005, he said he felt unwell, his wife was about to take him to hospital when he collapsed shortly after.

Mrs Bailey’s mother, Margaret Parsons, 70, a dinner lady, had cooked dinner for the whole family the day before her death.

She was just popping out with her husband when she collapsed and died at home in April 2006. She had suffered chest pains but doctors believed it was due to a chest infection.

Mrs Bailey said: “Everything was so surreal and I wasn’t really with it for a while. We had a lot of support from family and friends and now we want something to look forward to, and to help other families.

“Neither my mum or my husband were tested for heart disease because they showed no signs of heart problems, despite having family history.

“Nobody though to check and so often this is overlooked, I want the money to go towards tests which will target the condition earlier and help save lives.”

She said: “It’s a good cause and everything made on the night will go to the British Heart Foundation – a very worthy cause that is often overlooked. I make a donation every month in my husband’s name, but I wanted to give more back.

“I really hope the event will be a success so I can hold it again. I’ll just be grateful if people want to come along and support me, or if they can’t make it – why not just buy a few raffle tickets?”

The raffle will include prizes such as vouchers for photo shoots and Planet Zoom, wine and chocolates – but more are needed and more donations are welcome.

Running from 7.30pm, tickets cost £5 and under fives go free. Call Mrs Bailey on 07825 413605 to book.