Tributes for Scots delivery driver who passed away from rare disease that killed her skin



THE family of a tragic young woman have revealed how she lost her life to a rare condition which made her skin turn black and die.

Claire Bassett passed away in March after bravely battling the disease which caused stabbing sensations and left her screaming in pain.

The 27-year-old kidney dialysis patient from Dunfermline, Fife, was struck down by calciphylaxis.

The condition allows calcium to build up and block blood vessels, cutting off the supply of blood to the skin.

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Claire’s father said she touched so many lives in many ways.

Claire, who worked as a delivery driver, was killed within three months of suffering the first agonising symptoms in late December.

The condition affects about 1% of the UK’s 40,000 kidney dialysis patients per year, and the fatality rate is as high as 80%.

Claire’s family and friends now want to raise awareness of the condition and raise money to support patients.

Claire’s mother Karen said: “She had been on dialysis for a while but one day noticed a black mark on her tummy and kept wiping it thinking it was just dry blood. As time went on she ended up in so much pain.

“On Boxing Day she was screaming in pain but at that time we didn’t know what it was. It wasn’t until 12 days later when we went in and she was having her dressings taken off her stomach that one of the medical staff said ‘oh my god Claire, I think you have calciphylaxis’.

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The disease got deeper and deeper as days went on.

“We thought when her dialysis line was put back in that that was her getting better, that she was getting over it but the wounds were just getting deeper and deeper and carried on bleeding.

“They said her blood vessels were popping and on a few days later she had a massive bleed and doctors told us there was nothing they could do.”

Karen added: “She said she wanted to be knocked out if the pain came back again. It was like stabbing pains. She could be fine and then suddenly the pains would come back again. All that could be done was to give her painkillers.”

Claire began developing black, leathery wounds on her stomach which over time continued to grow.

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Claire pictured with her best friend Lizy who has been fundraising for Fife Hospitals Kidney Support.

Medical staff would heavily bandage Claire to try to keep her wounds clean.

Doctors, who were initially left baffled by the disease and had to seek advice from medical staff in Germany, gave Claire diamorphine to ease the pain.

Two days after doctors told Claire and her loved ones there was nothing more that they could do, she passed away.

Best friend, Lizy Bowie, 27, said: “She was the bravest person I’ve ever met and was so strong and amazing.”

Her father, Geoff said: “Her life touched so many people in a special way. We are all so heartbroken to lose her.”

Her family and friends have now began arranging fundraising events help raise awareness for the disease including a fun day which is due to be held later this month.

It will be held at Elgin Hotel in Charlestown on June 19 and include raffles, kids’ disco, face painting and cake stalls.

A Gofundme page has also been set up by Geoff who hopes to raise £27,000 – a £1,000 for each year of her life.

Two of Claire’s friends, Kate Wemyss and Casey Phoenix, are also planning to climb Ben Nevis later this month and plan to leave a small container of Claire’s ashes at the top.

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