Staff at a Blackpool doctors’ surgery mourning the sudden loss of their receptionist are holding a fund-raising day as a way of saying goodbye.
Jeannie Fisher worked at St Paul’s Medical Centre in North Shore for eight years before she died in February, just three months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Originally from Carlisle, Mrs Fisher was well known in the community, which, staff at the surgery say, is still struggling to come to terms with her death.
Debbie Mashford, who works at the centre on Dickson Road, said: “We still can’t believe she’s not coming back. It’s like she’s just gone on a long holiday.
“It happened so quickly – one minute she was herself, and the next she was gone.
“Our patients come in and see her picture on the notice board and they can’t believe it.
“She’s left a big hole here at St Paul’s, definitely.”
Mrs Fisher, 59, lived on High Street, Blackpool, but moved back to Carlisle following her diagnosis and her release from Preston Royal Hospital, to spend her final days with her two children and two grandchildren.
Mrs Mashford added: “Jeannie had always liked Blackpool and decided to move here in 2006.
“She loved to go to the Soul Suite in town because she enjoyed the music there, and she just loved being in Blackpool.
“She’d say she’d enjoy coming into work to be with ‘her family’. We are like one big family here.”
By way of a memorial, staff at St Paul’s, which is behind Blackpool Hilton Hotel, are holding a fund-raising day for brain tumour research at Blackpool Victoria Hospital next week.
They have been gifted with several prizes from local businesses for a raffle and tombola, and staff will bring in baked treats to sell on the day.
Mrs Masford said: “We started planning this about three weeks ago, and it’s amazing how generous people have been, especially given the financial state of the country.
“We’ve got hairdressing vouchers and meal vouchers to give away, costume jewellery, meat vouchers, chocolate and wine – everything.
“We never expected such a tremendous response, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
The event will take place all day on Friday, March 28, from 9am, at the surgery. Everyone is welcome to drop in to buy a raffle ticket and have a go on the tombola.