Shock as 'bubbly' ward sister at RPH dies aged 27

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Tributes have been made to a ‘bubbly’ 27-year-old nurse who died unexpectedly at her home.

Katy Marie Blezard, affectionately known as ‘Blez’ to family and friends, passed away at home overnight in Chipping, near Longridge on Friday, November 8.

Katy Blezard was Longridge's first team hockey goalkeeper

Katy Blezard was Longridge's first team hockey goalkeeper

Ms Blezard’s family said the cause of death has not yet been established.

“Katy was a happy and bubbly character with a huge heart,” said her family.

“She will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by all who knew her.”

Katy began her career at Royal Preston Hospital in 2013, where she worked on the neurosurgery ward.

A minute's silence was held in memory of Katy Blezard

A minute's silence was held in memory of Katy Blezard

In recognition of her hard work and leadership skills, Katy was promoted to the senior position of sister, responsible for the overall running of the ward.

After six years helping patients with acute brain and spinal disorders, Katy joined the hospital’s critical care unit in September.

Sarah Cullen, nursing director at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are saddened to hear of our colleague Katy Blezard’s death. Our thoughts are with Katy’s family at this difficult time.

“Katy will be remembered with great fondness by her friends and colleagues.”

Katy Blezard

Katy Blezard

When not working hard, her family said Katy could often be found playing hard in her role as first team keeper for Longridge Hockey Club, or out with her dog “Zippo”, or in the Sun Inn pub in Chipping.

Her sister, Lucy Blezard, said: “Katy played hockey from a very young age. She was talent spotted by Kay Hannon, an England Hockey coach, when she was in her early teens.”

A well-respected hockey keeper, Katy would serve as captain of the girls’ Lancashire hockey squad for three years running, and was selected to play for the North of England ladies’ hockey team.

A minute’s silence was held ahead of hockey matches across Lancashire last weekend.

Longridge Hockey Club also held a minute’s applause before last weekend’s game, with Katy’s favourite tipple, a can of Fosters, sitting in the goal.

Nicki Wilkinson, captain of Longridge Hockey Club, said: “Our beautiful, bubbly, crazy 1st team keeper Katy has been taken from our lives much too soon.

“Our club has been torn apart and our hockey family devastated. Katy will leave a big hole in all our hearts as well as our net.”

Just days after her death, Katy was named in the England Hockey Team of the Week for her performance in her team’s recent 2-1 victory over local rivals Garstang.

A funeral service to celebrate Katy’s life will be held at 12pm this Thursday, November 21 at St Bartholomew’s Church, Chipping.

The service will be followed by a celebration of Katy’s life at the Sun Inn, Chipping.

Katy’s family are inviting friends, colleagues and team mates to wear hockey kits, uniforms and bright colours at the service.

Donations in memory of Katy can be made to Longridge Hockey Club, or towards the family’s chosen endometriosis charity, as Katy suffered from the condition for a number of years.