The partner of Aberdeen charity volunteer Yvonne Jeffery has paid tribute to the courage she showed during her 16-year struggle to overcome the effects of a devastating stroke.
Yvonne was left with limited speech and mobility after a stroke aged 42. She fought back to become help out at a charity shop and care for homeless cats but died last month aged 58 following a second stroke.
Gordon Allan, her partner said Yvonne was unresponsive between her stroke on the Friday evening and her death the following Wednesday.
The only communication was a tear she shed just before she died.
“By that stage she was locked in. Yvonne could not open her eyes. I was there with her great friend Diane Prosser and she could not even squeeze our hands.
“It as heartbreaking after all she had been through. I believe the tear was her means of communication.”
Yvonne had spent 10 years as a volunteer at the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association shop in Aberdeen and was a long-term supporter of other charities.
She was born in Hammersmith Hospital, London. Her parents were machine shop engineer Bill Jeffery and Ann Cruickshank, originally from Lumphanan.
When she was young her family took over a general store at Northchurch, Berkhamsted, near Watford, before moving to Lumphanan where they renovated a cottage.
Yvonne stayed in Aberdeen and worked in clerical jobs including at the DSS. At this time she met Diane, while working at Keyline, who became a lifelong friend and soulmate.
Gordon said: “At the age of 42 Yvonne had a massive stroke. It was very bad and she lost a lot of her speech and mobility.
“Afterwards she attended the Momentum brain injury group and I got to know her through my sister.
“As part of her rehabilitation she tried clerical work but that did not suit and instead was happy volunteering at the Chest, Heart and Stroke shop.
“Life was a struggle. She had a mobility car but needed a a walking aid to get into the shop. She also travelled each Sunday morning to feed cats at the rescue centre at Scotstown Moor.”
In 2017, Yvonne suffered a further setback. She needed a replacement heart valve and spent time in hospital in Aberdeen and Edinbugh.
“The operation was a success and Yvonne did bounce back,” said Gordon.
Diane said: “I met Yvonne long before her stroke. She showed courage and determination and huge strength to get to the stage of being able to work.
The family’s announcement can be read here.