A 25-year-old woman died within the space of one day of catching a stomach bug.
Samantha Quantrill had Addison’s disease – a condition where the adrenal glands cease to function – and was taking medication to manage it.
The Tesco worker from North Shields, Tyne and Wear, started feeling ill after contracting a bug on February 12.
Samantha Quantrill (right), who has Addison’s disease, contracted a stomach bug and died within a space of a day
Other members of Ms Quantrill’s family members also had sickness and diarrhoea and recovered, however she collapsed and paramedics were called to her home in North Shields.
Ms Quantrill was taken to Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington but, despite efforts of medical staff, lost her fight for life the next morning.
Her family paid tribute to a ‘wonderful and caring’ daughter and believe the bug, coupled with Addison’s disease, had a fatal effect on her.
The 25-year-old woke up in the early hours feeling sick, before collapsing later on in the day and was rushed to hospital where she later died (Ms Quantrill pictured here with her mother Jan Chambers)
Ms Quantrill’s mother Jan Chambers said: ‘We are all devastated. We just can’t believe this happened. One day she was fine, the next she was in hospital.’
Jan, who also works at Tesco, added: ‘Sam was really loving, kind, thoughtful and generous. She would give away her last penny.
‘She was like my shadow. We went everywhere together, we were like a double act – inseparable. We can’t believe she has gone.’
‘She would give away her last penny’: The Tesco worker’s devastated family have said they cannot believe she is dead
The 54-year-old said her daughter was first diagnosed with the disease around eight years ago.
‘She had no energy and was very lethargic,’ said Jan.
Jan explained that her daughter would struggle to walk even short distances: ‘She had to sit down about three times along the way. She just said, “Mum I can’t do it”.’
‘Sam was absolutely brilliant and had a heart of gold’: Grandmother Jean said that Ms Quantrill was a great support when the 80-year-old had cancer
Ms Quantrill went to see her GP and blood tests were carried out. She was diagnosed with Addison’s and was put on medication to manage the condition.
But a fortnight ago, she woke up in the early hours feeling sick.
Jan said: ‘She had sickness and diarrhoea. We thought it was a 24-hour bug or virus going round. Some other members of the family had it as well.
‘We made sure she was getting plenty of fluids. But she didn’t improve.’
Ms Quantrill was then taken to hospital. Jan said: ‘Everyone just prayed for a miracle through the night.’
Ms Quantrill was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, where the adrenal glands do not work properly, about eight years ago
‘We stayed with her and the doctors did everything they could. But nothing was working. All her organs were just shutting down.’
By around 8am the next morning, they were told she would not survive and the much loved 25-year-old died.
Grandma Jean said the whole family was heartbroken and missed her dearly.
Jan and Jean are now trying to raise more awareness of Addison’s and have arranged a collection at her funeral for a national support group (picture l-r: Jean Chambers, mother Jan Chambers and aunty Jean Chambers)
She told how her granddaughter had lived with her and her late husband John for six years and had been a pillar of support to them, especially when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and John fell ill.
Jean, 80, who is now in remission, added: ‘Sam was absolutely brilliant and had a heart of gold. She would fuss over us and always go overboard with presents for everyone in the family, especially at Christmas.
‘She loved being in the family circle, she revelled in it.
‘My only condolence is that she is with her grandad and they will be looking after each other.’
Jan and Jean are now trying to raise more awareness of Addison’s and have arranged a collection at her funeral for a national support group.
Sam’s funeral was held on Friday. She also leaves behind dad Bryan Quantrill, stepdad Garry Hoosan, and brothers Jonny and Ben.
WHAT IS ADDISON’S DISEASE?
Addison’s disease is a rare disorder of the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and produce the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. If the adrenal gland is damaged, an insufficient amount of these hormones is produced.
Some 8,400 people in the UK with most sufferers aged between 30 and 50, and the condition is most common in women.
Early in the illness, its symptoms mimic common ailments such as depression or the flu, and patients may also suffer dizziness, fainting, cramps and exhaustion.
Sufferers may also develop darkened areas of skin or darkened lips or gums.
Patients require treatment for the rest of their life to control the level of steroid hormones in their system, and without proper treatment, the disease can be fatal.
Source: NHS Choices