Tributes have been paid to a retired nurse who passed away after a brave battle with cancer.
Tracey Holden, of Thorneyholme Road, Accrington, was described by her son Stephen as the ‘most compassionate, caring and strongest person I have ever known’.
The grandmother-of-four had successfully battled cancer eight years ago however the disease ‘aggressively’ returned around 12 months ago.
She passed away at East Lancashire Hospice on Monday, July 16, aged 54 surrounded by family.
Stephen, 33, from Accrington, said his mum ‘never gave up and battled until the very end’. He said: “She had cancer about eight years ago but it then came back aggressively with a lot of other problems.
“There was just nothing she could do. She had been having chemotherapy since October but nothing was working. It was always going to take her but she always lived life to the full whatever quality of life she had.
“She would do anything for anyone and she never wanted to be beaten. She stayed fighting right until the very end. No one can say anybody else has been stronger than my mum.
“She was the most compassionate, caring and strongest person I have ever known.”
The former Hollins pupil worked as a mental health nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital and Lancashire Care Trust for more than 30 years.
Stephen, who is in the armed forces, said Tracey ‘loved her job’ and was reluctant to retire ahead of schedule earlier this year.
He also praised the staff at East Lancashire Hospice for giving her a ‘new lease of life’.
He said: “She used to come home and talk to us all the time about her work and how she would improve it. It just showed how passionate she was
“She was due to retire in August and wanted to do it properly and then go on holiday but unfortunately that got taken away from her. She had a new lease of life at the Hospice. It gave her an extra five weeks.
All her friends came to see her and when she had a bad turn the whole family came. There were about 20 of us and we kind of took over the Hospice.”
Tracey leaves sons Stephen and Anthony, grandchildren Josh, Enola, Logan and Kensie, mother Maureen Allen, three sisters, two brothers and many friends.
The funeral will take place on Friday, July 27 at 3pm at Accrington Crematorium officiated by Sandra Howles, then a wake at the Whitakers Arms, across from the Crematorium.
Flowers are welcome, with donations requested for East Lancashire Hospice.
For further enquiries the funeral director is Hyndburn Funeral Services, Queens Road, Accrington.