With great sadness I have to announce the passing of my friend Nicola Jayne Wetz (nee Cole). Nicola slipped away peacefully surrounded by her family on Friday 30th June.
Many of you will remember Nicola from her famous visit to see us at the TEDxNewcastle conference back in 2014. In The Patient Who Changed My Life I told the story of meeting Nicola for the first time. As a junior hospital doctor, we first met when Nicola was quite literally at death’s door. Her life was saved at that time by an experimental new drug, CAMPATH-1H. This experience changed not only Nicola’s life, but also shaped my future career, and we remained in touch.
Sadly, that drug was not a cure - Nicola continued to wrestle with complex health problems - but she bore this with a smile and went on to lead a full life, with great fortitude. She completed her college studies, got married, took a job working at the International Council for Bird Preservation, and visited numerous countries throughout Europe and North America.
Nicola touched not just my life, but the lives of everyone she met. She continued her charity work supporting medical research, and bore her difficulties with dignity and good humour.
“Every cloud has a silver lining!” was one of her favourite sayings.
Nicola will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with her family, and with her devoted husband Matthew, at this difficult time.
Nicola’s funeral will take place on Wednesday 19th July at West Suffolk Crematorium, Bury St Edmunds at 1545hrs.