Trudy Baynes Hill had become a good friend over the last few years. She died on Thursday morning. Don't know how old she was, but a lot younger than I am. Trudy was a special person, who overcame huge setbacks to her health, and carried on with a incredible mixture of determination and cheerfulness. I first knew her when we were both working for the Development Board for Rural Wales in the late 80s, but got to know her well through working together campaigning for a renal dialysis unit in Montgomeryshire (Welshpool Hospital). When we established the Powys Branch of Kidney Foundation Wales, Trudy became chair and I became secretary.
Trudy suffered much ill health. She was one of the early heart and lung transplants carried out at Papworth Hospital. She also suffered from breast cancer, and renal failure meant that she was a three times a week' dialyser. I recall her telling how she once 'died' for several minutes, and had several ribs broken as she was resuscitated. Despite all of this, she was always chatty and cheerful, no matter how ill she must have felt.
Sympathies go to her family, who I'm sure will be feeling a great sense of loss. I too will miss the morning coffees we had at the Exchange in Newtown (where she worked part-time as much as she could) and the Old Station in Welshpool (on her way through to Shrewsbury for dialysis). We used to discuss 'renal' matters, and put the world to rights (Trudy was not short of opinions). Montgomeryshire has lost an inspirational woman, and those who knew her have lost a good friend.