A fund-raising stalwart who battled rheumatoid arthritis for five decades has died.
President of Carleton Women’s Institute, Carol Field, 68, raised “untold” amounts for Fylde coast charities and helped countless others during years of selfless work.
The mother-of-two, of Winchester Drive, Carleton, was diagnosed with the crippling illness aged 16 and underwent years of operations to ease her pain.
However, the former Gazette community correspondent during the 1990s died on December 16 from multiple organ failure after collapsing at a meeting of her beloved W.I.
Husband Barrie Field, 69, who was married to his wife for 46 years, said she was constantly defying the odds and recovered from a brain haemorrhage in 2000.
He said: “She was the best thing that ever happened to me. She was a mother and a wife, and I admire her for the way she kept fighting.
“She was told she wouldn’t be able to drive but passed her test first time.
“She always kept going and going, and when she collapsed it was during a meeting of the W.I.”
Mrs Field raised thousands of pounds during her lifetime for various charities on the Fylde coast, including the former South Shore Hospital.
Her efforts as part of the Friends of South Shore Hospital saw the group donate beds, televisions and equipment.
In 1995, she raised £1,000 for the Motability driving scheme and met the Queen at a Motability Roadshow in Crowthorne, Berkshire.
Lynne Fisher, 65, Mrs Field’s sister, added: “She was marvellous. She was crippled by rheumatoid arthritis but she did more than I ever did.
“She took fairly advanced medicines and had to inject herself every fortnight with them. I always felt guilty when I had a cold because I knew I would be fine in a week but she was never going to get over her arthritis.” Hilary Emery, a friend of the popular fund-raiser for 40 years, and a member of Carleton W.I. for the last 12, says her friend breathed new life into the group when she took the reins in 1994 by setting up different sessions.
She said: “Carol was the best friend I ever had.
“When my husband died she took me under her wing and made sure I got to wherever I was going.”
Mrs Field’s funeral will take place at Poulton Methodist Church, at 12.15pm on January 8.