Double tragedy as ‘outgoing’ mum dies months after her sister’s early death

A family has been rocked by a double tragedy after an “outgoing and gregarious” mum-of-two tragically died two months after her younger sister’s funeral.

Care worker Lorraine Heyes, from Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire, passed away just three weeks after being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer on Sunday March 7.

The family were still grieving Lorraine’s sibling Lisa, who passed away just before Christmas, and was buried two months ago.

They have been hit by a series of early deaths, Lorraine’s mum Ruth died more than 30 years ago, and her stepmum Sheila passed away in 2010.

Lorraine, 50, leaves behind her devastated children Jamie and Whitley, adored granddaughter Grace Ruth, her beloved father Joe and her sister Sharon.

Her twice-widowed dad Joe Heyes, 72, said he had “lost one of the greatest loves” of his life.

“It was like a bombshell when she was diagnosed. She said ‘I want to go home’ and it was just a gradual deterioration over three weeks.

“The last week was horrendous.”

Joe said his daughter, a former circuit singer, was very outgoing and gregarious, and always very smartly dressed.

“She was an absolutely stunning girl and no two ways about it,” he said.

“Our Lisa died on 19th December and we buried her eight weeks ago.

“I couldn’t have had two better daughters. They never asked me for anything and were very independent.

“It’s a shock; there’s no words.”

Mum-of-three Lisa, also a carer, sadly died on December 19 last year aged 46 following a long period of illness.

She was remembered as a devoted mum who loved animals and meeting new people.

Lorraine’s son Jamie, 31, said his mum had seemed healthy but was told she had necrotising pancreatitis after complaining of back pain.

Further examinations revealed that, tragically, there was nothing more that could be done to save her.

And her family were given barely any time to say goodbye after the diagnosis.

“It was 20 days from diagnosis until death,” he said.

“My mother never really requested a timescale.

“If she did know, she didn’t tell any of us and didn’t want us to suffer with the burden. I’m more at peace now; not that she’s gone, but it was very harsh on our family. I feel sorry for my grandad as he has lost two wives and had to bury both his daughters within two months.”

Lorraine enjoyed music and sewing, and had held a number of jobs down the years, including a long time as a bridal seamstress at Amelia’s in Clitheroe, working alongside her sister Lisa.

Jamie said: “She used to be a circuit singer in the early 2000s, and her stage name was Cindy Cee. She went singing all over the North West. She had a strong spiritual belief and believed in the other side.

“She was a good woman and she cared about people.”