Family’s mission to raise awareness of rare illness which killed South Tyneside nanna

Maggie Trainor died suddenly aged just 63 as a result of  rare illness encephalitis.

Maggie Trainor died suddenly aged just 63 as a result of rare illness encephalitis.

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A grief-stricken family is on a mission to raise awareness of a rare illness which claimed the life of a loved one.

Margaret Trainor, known as Nanna Maggie, died suddenly from encephalitis after being admitted in to South Tyneside Hospital following flu-like symptoms.

Maggie Trainor with grandson Jacob. Maggie died suddenly aged just 63 as a result of rare illness encephalitis.

Maggie Trainor with grandson Jacob. Maggie died suddenly aged just 63 as a result of rare illness encephalitis.

Encephalitis is a rare but serious condition that causes inflammation of the brain. The majority of cases are caused by either a viral infection or the immune system mistakenly attacking brain tissue.

The 63-year-old, from Elm Street in Jarrow, took ill on April 5, but her condition quickly deteriorated and she died four days later on April 9.

Now the family are raising funds for The Encephalitis Society in her memory in the hope of raising awareness of the condition.

Daughter Roxy Trainor, from Albert Road, Jarrow, said the family have been left devastated following her death, but have found comfort in raising awareness of the condition through charity events for the society.

Maggie Trainor with grandchildren Ruby and Jacob Palmer.

Maggie Trainor with grandchildren Ruby and Jacob Palmer.

The 31-year-old said: “My mum died in April and it all happened quite suddenly.

“We were told she died as a result of a rare condition called encephalitis, but we didn’t know what that was, so I looked online and found The Encephalitis Society who were able to explain it to me.

“I later found out that they don’t receive any government funding, so we decided to do some fundraising for them and raise the profile of the condition.

“In August, my children, Ruby, six, and Jacob Palmer, four, did a fun run with their dad Phil Palmer in York- where the society is based- and we managed to raise £700.”

Jacob and Ruby Palmer aged four and six, collecting their awards at the Encephalitis Society Annual Meeting.

Jacob and Ruby Palmer aged four and six, collecting their awards at the Encephalitis Society Annual Meeting.

Earlier this month the family were invited to the The Encephalitis Society annual members meeting where the youngsters were awarded for their fundraising efforts.

Full-time mum Roxy hopes their story will raise the profile of the society and the work they do.

She added: “Maggie was like a nanna to everybody and she is massively missed.
“The flu-like symptoms were there, but we never thought she was about to lose her life as she was so young and had never heard of the condition.
“But her condition quickly became serious as the illness affected her brain and we had to make the hard decision not to have her resuscitated as we knew that she would be severely brain damaged.

“Before this happened we had never heard of the condition and we have found that is the case for many people.

“We just want to raise awareness of it as early diagnosis is key.”