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Tributes to popular Norfolk nurse killed in car accident

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 07:54 02 July 2010

Louise Strong, who died in a car accident.

Louise Strong, who died in a car accident.

Ed Foss

After 26 years of marriage Louise Strong was looking forward to a holiday with her recently retired husband.

However, the couple never got to enjoy the break after the mother-of-two was struck by a car and killed outside their home the day before they were due to leave.

After 26 years of marriage Louise Strong was looking forward to a holiday with her recently retired husband.

However, the couple never got to enjoy the break after the mother-of-two was struck by a car and killed outside their home the day before they were due to leave.

Heartfelt tributes have been paid to the popular nurse and mum, whose death has prompted an outpouring of emotion from hundreds of people she helped across more than 20 years of healthcare.

Mrs Strong, well known across north Norfolk through more than 15 years of working in surgeries in Cromer and North Walsham, was due to fly to Mauritius with her husband Steve, a former detective chief inspector with Norfolk police, last Friday.

But on Thursday she was hit by a car outside her home near Cromer, dying at the scene.

A nurse practitioner at Paston Surgery in North Walsham, the 47-year-old had been awarded a masters degree from the University of East Anglia's school of nursing and midwifery only last July.

Last night Mrs Strong's husband Steve, who now works for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, described how she had successfully combined her burgeoning career, continuing education, motherhood and running a home.

The couple have two children, 20-year-old George and 13-year-old Eleanor, and a large extended family on both sides.

“She always put herself second in running the family and forging her caring career,” said Mr Strong.

“After 26 years of marriage we still had a very close, loving relationship and I will never get over the fact she is not here any more.

“She was also a very, very beautiful woman.”

Mr Strong said there had been an “overwhelming” response from friends and patients to his wife's death and added: “We are all very grateful for that, in a small way it has helped.”

Mrs Strong was being picked up by a friend on Thursday morning to be taken from her home to the North Walsham surgery, where she was due to work a shift and then catch an evening train to London to meet her husband. The couple were due to fly to Mauritius on Friday afternoon.

But she was knocked over by the car which had come to pick her up as it was being reversed by the friend. The accident happened at around 8.45am and Mrs Strong was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident is being investigated by police to assess exactly what happened. The coroner opened and adjourned an inquest into the death yesterday.

Dr Richard Young, senior partner at Paston Surgery, said: “Louise was a fantastic nurse practitioner, caring, knowledgeable and with communication skills second to none, a true professional.

“She was universally popular with patients and colleagues alike.

“Nothing was ever too much trouble, she would cheerfully help out whenever a crisis occurred and always stayed until the work was done.”

Dr Young added that within hours of hearing the news the surgery had received numerous expressions of sympathy from people saying how important a role Mrs Strong had played in their lives.

“It is particularly tragic that we had seen her develop into this role over the years, and having gained her masters degree in 2009 we were looking forward to a new phase opening up in her career.

“We have lost a much loved colleague and will all miss her very much, our hearts go out to her husband and children.”

Mrs Strong started working at Paston Surgery in 2002 after moving from the Dr Ding's now closed surgery in Canada Road in Cromer, where she had worked for around eight years.

She trained at the Broadland School of Nursing in 1980 and after qualifying worked in hospitals in London including Westminster Hospital.

Mrs Strong will be buried at a private family funeral in the village of Great Saxham, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, where she and her husband were married.

A memorial service will be held at Cromer parish church at noon on February 13, to which all patients, former patients and friends will be welcome.

The family have requested no flowers, but any donations will be put towards a purchase for the surgery.

A book of condolence has been made available at the surgery, where cards and donations can also be taken, but not flowers.

Do you want to pay tribute to a loved one? Contact reporter Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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