Tributes to “a perfect woman”

A HUNTINGDON mother-of-two who died aged just 24 will be remembered as “someone who could light up a room”.

A HUNTINGDON mother-of-two who died aged just 24 will be remembered as “someone who could light up a room”.

Charmaine Dixon – Mainie to her friends – died after a long struggle with cystic fibrosis, leaving daughter Caitlin, six, and son Bobby, 10 months.

Mainie’s mother, also called Charmaine, said her daughter was “just the perfect woman”.

“She was someone who was so innocent and pure,” said Miss Dixon, of Rodney Road. “She could light a room up when she came in. She was my best friend, and we were always together: me, her and the children. She idolised them.”

Mainie lived most of her life in Huntingdon, attending Houghton Primary, Thongsley and St Peter’s schools, and had suffered from cystic fibrosis from birth. The genetic condition affects the digestive system and lungs, and causes progressive disability to sufferers.

She was the third of five children, and leaves brothers Danny, 28, Nathan, 25, and sisters Melissa, 15, and Kelly, 14.

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Her condition had deteriorated in the past two years, and she spent most of the past year in Papworth Hospital, during which time she gave birth to her son Bobby – thought to be the first baby to be born at the hospital.

Mainie often needed a ventilator and oxygen, and had to use a wheelchair when she got the chance to indulge one of her favourite pastimes – shopping trips with her mother and children.

Miss Dixon, who is now looking after Caitlin and Bobby, said: “We brought her home in April, when she got worse again.

“She fought for her life, and never let anything get her down. I’ll remember her always laughing and smiling. It’s wicked what has happened to her, someone as good as her.”

Mainie died on May 2 and her funeral was held on May 12, with mourners dressed in white, a white coffin and white horses.

Having seen the treatment that Mainie received at Papworth Hospital, Miss Dixon is determined to raise money to improve life for other patients.

Friends and family at the Golden Knight pub in Sapley Square have pulled together to organise a weekend of activities on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, where they hope to collect enough money to buy Skype phones and games consoles, so that patients can relax and keep in touch with loved ones during their stay at the unit.

“The patients are kept apart to prevent the spread of infection, so there’s not a lot for them to do. It’s heart-breaking to see them lying there staring at the ceiling,” said Miss Dixon.

“There’s no mobile reception in the hospital, but with these internet phones they will be able to speak to their parents and friends. With the consoles the younger patients can play games online with their friends and keep in touch that way.”

Landlord Ricky Newton and Mainie’s stepfather John Martin, also the pub’s bar manager, have organised the weekend, and will both be taking part in a sponsored chest-wax.

There will be two nights of live music, a barbecue, hot tub, and face-painting and a bouncy castle.

Mr Martin said: “We hope that as many people as possible are able to come along, so that we can raise money for this great cause.”