I know that many Essex and Suffolk archers had been following the progress of Lynne over recent years. She started archery in 2001 when she was 27 and during all that time her life was dogged by ill-health, but did that deter Lynne? Oh no! Lynne and her parents always knew that she would not enjoy longevity and she was determined to make the most of whatever lifespan she had. Throughout numerous major operations, she still managed to reach great heights and always with her well known cheerful smile.
On 16th March last year, we received an e-mail message from Lynne, advising us that the IPC website had been published showing her as ranked No. 7 in the world - that was up from 13 the season before. She went on to say that there were 4 GB female recurves in the ranking; 2 stander and 2 wheelchairs and, if the two lists were combined, Lynne was 2nd for the GB selection.
During that same year, Lynne was accepted for the GB Squad (funded at the lowest level). She took part in the Arizona Cup on 7th April and in September competed at the International Paralympics Championships in South Korea.
During this year Lynne’s health took a turn for the worst and she spent many months at the Royal Free Hospital in London - almost her second home! When she was invited to take part in the selection programme for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing her coach, Dr. Peter Drewry, collected her from the High Dependency Unit at the hospital and drove her up to Lilleshall where, despite her severe condition (her body was rejecting her second liver transplant) she came second in the shoot off winning a place to participate in Beijing. Such was the determination of this great young lady. She was understandably delighted because she was all set now to realise her big dream. But, disappointingly, it was not to be. Lynne’s health deteriorated still further and because she was too ill to travel she was obliged to withdraw from the Paralympics. What another cruel turn of fate for her!
From that time onwards, Lynne’s activities were completely curtailed and she was now spending much of her time in hospital. Last Thursday, 30th October was the last day Lynne was truly conscious and her family were at her bedside. Then, at 7 pm on Saturday, 1st November Lynne’s body finally gave up its long fight for life and she died peacefully. She had reached just 34 years on 17th October.
The information I have so far received from Lynne’s parents is that she will be cremated at a private family service on 12th November and her wish was to have her ashes scattered in woodland near the family home in Gloucestershire in an area where bluebells flower each year. At a date to be announced later, there will be a service in celebration of Lynne’s life and all her friends will be invited to attend.
The family have requested that there be no floral tributes but would welcome support for two favourite charities which, at the moment, we believe will be Friends of the Royal Free Hospital in London and the Willow Foundation.
On behalf of all the members of the Essex & Suffolk County Archery Association, I would like to extend the sincere condolences of its members to Lynne’s family. Lynne was quite an exceptional young lady with a bright and sunny personality, and much liked by all who met her.
Iris Major - November, 2008