TRIBUTES have been paid to a young Hampshire woman who died after suffering a severe epileptic fit at home.
Lara Weston, who celebrated her 22nd birthday this month, collapsed at her parents’ Hursley home, where she had lived her whole life.
Two months ago she had moved into an annexe above the garage – which coincided with her starting a business management apprenticeship at Eastleigh College.
Sister Polly, 26, said: “The last thing she did was get up in her flat to go to do her job – and that’s important as it wasn’t always possible for her.
“Lara was functioning in terms of having her own life.
“Everything had been coming together for her, she was so enthused. She was really brave, really tough.”
Lara was born with epilepsy, which increased in severity after she turned eight.
She attended the John Keble Primary School in Hursley, Hampshire Collegiate School, then Peter Symonds sixth form college, in Winchester.
She enjoyed years of Stagecoach drama lessons in Chandler’s Ford, once singing and dancing on Blue Peter, for which she earned one of the BBC children’s programme’s coveted badges.
‘Privileged’ Lara’s parents Emma and Murray, as well as her sister, have paid tribute to NHS nurse Kim Morley, the only one in the country to specialise in women’s health and epilepsy, for the years of support to Lara.
Earlier this month Lara marked her 22nd birthday with three days of celebrations.
Friend Pippa Miller, from Kings Worthy, who met Lara on their first day at Peter Symonds in 2009, said “Lara could strike up a conversation with anyone, and was never fake.
“She didn’t let her epilepsy rule her life but it did get her down. It annoyed her because it’s such an isolating, restrictive disorder.
“But she just moved on.”
When Pippa received the results for her Human Biology degree just days ago, Lara was one of the first people she hugged.
“I’m so glad I shared one of the best moments of my life with her. I will miss Lara terribly and feel very privileged to have known her,” she said.
Following Lara’s death, the Weston family gave consent for her organs to be donated, and have also set up an online charity page to fundraise for Epilepsy Research UK.
The site is justgiving.com/ laramayweston.
Lara’s funeral will be held on Monday, July 7. For more details email firstname.lastname@example.org.