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Fiona Joy Fleming (nee MacDonald)

Fiona passed away on 6 January 2023, three days after her 37th birthday.

Fiona arrived after eight years of marriage. She filled our lives with joy, her middle name. Fiona was quick and bright, she walked at 10 months old and spoke in complete sentences before she was two years old. She was diagnosed with petit mal at 20 months old. We made sure she didn’t lose out on any experiences. She was an excellent swimmer, and owned and competed on her own horse in show jumping events. Fiona loved MMA, achieving several belts in kickboxing right up to her death. She only had a black belt left to achieve. Shaun, her instructor from HAMMA, awarded her the black belt posthumously.

At 21 years old Fiona’s epilepsy deteriorated to include grand mal seizures. After a 13-year career in the Civil Service, Fiona was medically retired aged 30. By this time her epilepsy included non-epileptic seizures and trances. She was hospitalised on many occasions over the years, she tried every medication going, including VNS, but nothing improved her epilepsy. Fiona never lost her sense of fun, her determination, her love of the theatre and meals out with her close friends, Janice and John.

Fiona’s medication resulted in weight gain, so we joined Slimming World together, Dean the consultant and his social team of ladies, supported Fiona up to her death, with encouraging words and banter.

Fiona’s seizures in the two months before her death increased to every few days, she had no warnings which made it difficult to plan outings. Fiona, her sister Hannah and I went out on 5.1.2023 to celebrate Fiona’s birthday, we had a lovely day, with no signs of what was to come. We went to Slimming World in the evening and laughed about our Christmas weight gain, vowing to start again tomorrow.

In the early hours of 6 January, Careline contacted us to say Fiona had had a seizure, we went to her bungalow to pick her up and bring her back to our house. We put her to bed, I said to her I hope you have a good night’s sleep and you’ll be fine in the morning. Four hours later I went in to give her the morning medication, she had gone to sleep and never woke up. We had a bed sensor on, the monitor in our room but we couldn’t save her. Her death was recorded as SUDEP.

Fiona had a huge personality and we had spent more time with her than most parents would because of her epilepsy. She has left a massive hole in our lives – big, bold, beautiful, Princess Fiona.

– Joyce and Ian MacDonald (Fiona’s Mum and Dad), November 2023

8 January 2024 – The family have asked us to let you know that £9,051.79 has so generously been raised in Fiona’s memory to date.

To make a donation to Fiona’s memorial fund, please use the link below or visit the JustGiving page here.