Tragic Margaret missed becoming gran by weeks

Margaret Mather and Keith Lane, partner of Margaret Conway, with a Forget-me-not flower
Margaret Mather and Keith Lane, partner of Margaret Conway, with a Forget-me-not flower

MOVING tributes have been paid to a popular Wigan woman whose death denied her becoming a grandma by just weeks.

Margaret Conway of Kitt Green died from a rare form of skin cancer, extramammary Paget’s disease.

The 56-year-old’s biggest regret was that she wasn’t going to see her 31-year-old daughter Catherine give birth.

Margaret’s partner Keith Lane spoke publicly for the first time about his loss, describing Heinz factory worker Margaret as a wonderful woman.

The 56-year-old said: “She was just such a caring, loving person, everybody loved her. Even at work, six weeks after she passed away, her colleagues still can’t believe she’s gone. She was just so popular and loved by everybody – she is missed every single minute.

“Margaret had a fantastic sense of humour and was always making others laugh. She always put others first and was so excited for the arrival of her first grandchild. We have since found so many toys, clothes and things she had made for the baby in her flat, she would have been an amazing grandma.

“More than 100 people attended the funeral which is such a fitting tribute to her memory, it was marvellous to see. It made me so proud.”

Margaret was diagnosed with the cancer in March after taking ill just before Christmas, suffering with an extreme, painful rash and pins and needles.

She was given the all-clear after emergency surgery and returned to work as a line operator weeks later.

But after being back just a day in her job she fell ill again and was rushed to Wigan Infirmary. Doctors found the cancer had returned more aggressively and had spread throughout her body.

Sadly, Margaret rapidly deteriorated and died on June 20.

Her mum, Margaret Mather, now has a wooden forget-me-not in pride of place at her home which she dedicated to an appeal run by St Ann’s Hospice at Wythenshawe Hospital, where her daughter spent the last few days of her life.

She said: “The flower bears Margaret’s name and is an ideal way for people to remember someone special. The palliative care she received was wonderful and that’s why I was more than happy to make a donation to support the hospice campaign.

“We knew what the outcome would be for Margaret but she was pain free and that was everything to us.”

The Forget-me-not Appeal raised £38,000 for St Ann’s Hospice which provides free care for around 3,000 people with life-limiting illnesses in the region.

Hospice fund-raiser Stewart Graham said: “This year’s appeal has just finished and was a huge success with 1,400 people dedicating a flower.

“It has allowed people to remember and share their stories and raise a lot of money to help families who need our services now.”