By Paul Thornton
A SCOTTISH fitness fanatic has dropped dead in the gym during a year-long trip to Australia.
The care worker was on a year-long work visa and was saving up for a flight home when the tragedy struck.
Although she was a keen gym-goer she had signed up to the health club just a week before she died.
Yesterday Karen’s devastated family paid tribute to a “caring and outgoing” person.
Cousin Denise McFadden said: “She was a lovely outgoing person who loved to travel, loved meeting and helping new people and was popular and loved by everyone who knew her.
“She lived for her family and friends and helping others, and
staying fit as well – which ironically killed her.”
The Edinburgh woman had previously worked as a carer in old folks’ homes and was working on a cancer unit in Brisbane when she passed away.
Her sudden death has come as a shock to her family and her mother Anne is said to be devastated at the news.
She was too upset to speak at her Fernieside home but it is understood arrangements are being made to bring Karen’s body back to Scotland for her funeral.
Karen had left for Australia in November last year and was due to return in October. She had also travelled to Fiji, New Zealand and Thailand.
Denise said: “Karen was loving Australia but missed her family as well, she was saving up for her return flight when this happened.
“She loved to travel and was living her dream.
“She had a great zest and outlook on life and will be missed terribly.”
Denise said that Karen would spend time travelling before coming home to save for her next trip.
Karen was an avid boxer, who kept herself fit and had run several marathons. She dreamed of working in Africa caring for children.
Now she will save three people’s lives as her heart, liver and both her kidneys are used for transplants.
Denise said: “I think donating her organs was what Karen would have wanted. It is so typical of her.”
Her coach at The Bell Boxing Gym described her as a fitness fanatic who had a great sense of humour and loved life.
Jack Graham said: “She was a fit girl and fanatical about it, she used to do hill reps in Holyrood Park with us and was very fit.
“Karen loved the technical side of boxing and was a nice, quiet girl who could have a great laugh and loved life.
“The thoughts of the club go out to her family at this time.”