A BELOVED carer who “never truly understood how loved she was” has tragically died after a hernia which she had battled for years exploded.

Tina Ball, 54, of Walton, died suddenly on July 12, which has triggered an outpouring of tributes from her friends and family.

The mother-of-one had spent years asking for her stomach hernia to be removed, but was told she would first need to lose weight before an operation could be safely carried out.

She managed to lose weight but then the coronavirus pandemic unfortunately delayed her surgery and on July 10 the hernia burst, contributing to her death two days later.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Steven Wallis, 54, of Canvey Island, has known Tina since they were 12 years old as they went to the same school in Dagenham.

He said: “The hernia caused her significant health issues and it affected her self confidence and ability to undertake some normal activities due to pain and breathlessness.

“But she was still always willing to help others because she was the loveliest, kindest and most caring person - that was the person she was.

“Sadly, even though she brought many smiles and laughs, she had been awaiting surgery for a number of years and unfortunately we lost her before this could be undertaken.”

Tina was a live-in carer for her elderly mother. Following her death, Mr Wallis launched a fundraising page with a view of to providing support to her to family.

The money raised will also be used to purchase a garden tribute in her memory at her parents’ home as well as near Holland-on-Sea Sea beach, which was a place Tina held dear.

The campaign has so far generated more than £1,700.

“Tina would have been blown away by the response of the fundraiser,” added Mr Wallis,

“She never truly understood how loved she was by all those fortunate to have known her.

“We would love to help Tina’s family and give her one final fantastic send off.

“I consider it a fitting tribute to a wonderful friend who was always there for everyone.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Mr Wallis, who would often see Tina on school reunion trips, added: “Tina had a larger than life personality and never missed a chance to put a smile on people’s faces or support others in their time of need.

“She was loved by so many and it is rare in life you come across a person who so wholeheartedly wanted other people to be happy.

“We all love and miss you Tina.”

Tina’s funeral will take place at Weeley Crematorium on August 16.

To donate to the fundraising appeal, visit tinyurl.com/3uxc43wm.