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Woman pays tribute to her 'kind' and 'selfless' 38-year-old sister

A woman whose 38-year-old sister died suddenly said she was the ‘bravest, kindest and the most selfless person’.

Charlotte Sullivan had lived in Maidenhead all her life and passed away at her family home in Ellington Park as a result of a blood clot in the lung last Tuesday.

Shereen Lyford, 34, said her older sister had only been ‘fighting for her life’ at the Royal Free Hospital in London months before but had pulled through and was ‘absolutely fine’.

Charlotte went into the hospital on November 14 for a surgical procedure but got sepsis, which caused liver failure. She was in a coma for three weeks.

Shereen said ‘it was awful’ but that after being born with a very rare condition, Charlotte had ‘always been as strong as an ox’.

“She fights everything,” Shereen said, and was determined to get out of hospital to celebrate her brother Thomas’ 30th birthday, the youngest of her six siblings.

Shereen said Thomas was ‘her favourite’, and true to her word Charlotte was released from hospital on February 28 and attended Thomas’ birthday at Birds Hill Golf Centre in Drift Road on March 16.

Born with Klippel-Trènaunay-Weber syndrome, a condition which affected her blood vessels, Charlotte had spent her life in and out of hospitals.

She was admitted frequently for laser treatment to try and ease the bleeding and the infections the condition caused.

Shereen said that Charlotte was ‘just loved by the nurses’ and that when she was in hospital they, and fellow patients who had been discharged, would bring her gifts.

Charlotte ‘just touched everybody’ said Shereen.

“She was in a lot of pain during her life but that didn’t outweigh her wanting to live, and her happiness.

“She was the bravest, kindest and the most selfless person, and she was just so loving.”

Shereen added: “As long as everybody else was happy, she was happy, she always put herself last.”

About 20 years ago Charlotte’s condition meant she had to have her right arm amputated and three years ago when walking became too painful, she began using a wheelchair.

Around this time was also when Charlotte experienced her first holiday abroad to Tenerife with her fiancé, Thanver Butt, 39, Thomas, Shereen, and her husband, Mark Lyford.

Much to Charlotte’s delight, Thanver had proposed on Christmas day in 2018. The pair, who had been together for five years, intended on living together once they were married.

The holiday sparked a love of travel in the former Furze Platt student and when Charlotte was in hospital, she said she wanted the whole family to go on holiday to Benidorm in July, which they booked.

Charlotte also adored shopping, ‘usually for others’, with her sister, Melissa Hazel, 33, and Shereen said ‘music was her therapy’.

She also really enjoyed watching her brothers, Thomas Dean and Lee, who take part in go-kart and car racing as ‘Sullivan Motorsport’, race at Rye House Kart Raceway in Hertfordshire.

But Charlotte’s biggest passion was her family, including golden labrador, Oakley, which she shared with Thomas.

Although she had her own flat in Wallingford Way, Charlotte would spend every day at her family home with her mum, Sally, and dad, Andy, where she would see her siblings, nieces and nephews.

Shereen says Charlotte's nieces and nephews were ‘were like her children’ and that ‘she just had a special bond with everybody’ and ‘lived for everybody else’.

“Charlotte never wanted to draw attention to herself, but we want everyone to know what a kind, unique young lady she was,” said Shereen.

“She was simply the best,” she added. “Our life’s will never be the same again.”

A burial will be held for Charlotte at Braywick Cemetery on Thursday May 7 and a church service and wake will be held as soon as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

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