A MUM-OF-THREE died in her husband’s arms after being diagnosed with a rare condition which claimed her life in just 12 months.
Amanda Radford, aged 34, is thought to have been the only person in Sheffield with little-known Behcet’s Syndrome - an incurable auto-immune disorder which causes inflammation throughout the body.
Amanda suffered a heart attack, eight lung infections, liver failure and breathing difficulties as she battled a series of complications.
But her body became too weak to fight and her life-support machine at the Northern General Hospital was switched off.
Today her husband Keith, 36, of Woodrove Avenue, Woodthorpe, Sheffield, told The Star the family felt robbed by Amanda’s tragic death. “I was robbed, and the kids have been robbed,” said Keith, who has given up his job as a delivery driver to care for the couple’s three children Michael, 13, Haleigh, 10, and Oliver, just two-and-a-half.
“I’ve lost a good woman. It’s very hard.”
Fighting back tears, Keith said he held his wife during her last moments - 15 years to the day since he proposed to Amanda, a cleaner at Victoria Hall Methodist Church in Sheffield.
“I’d got hold of her in my arms, holding her pulse,” he said.
“I told her how I felt about her. I was telling her how much I loved her and how much the kids loved her. I was telling her not to leave me.
“Amanda opened her eyes and looked at me. She started crying. It was as if she knew.”
Keith said he felt her last heartbeat as his watch struck 3am.
“It had taken her 15 minutes to pass away. I kissed her all over her face and her head. I walked out of the room and tried to keep strong for the kids’ sake.”
Amanda started showing the first signs of Behcet’s Syndrome in December 2010, developing mysterious ulcers. Concerned medics sent her to see eye and rheumatology specialists, who diagnosed Behcet’s.
“We’d never heard of it,” said Keith. “We had to do a lot of research to find out exactly what it was. We didn’t understand it. The doctors said they’d never known anyone in Sheffield with it before.”
Amanda suffered a heart attack on her 34th birthday last February - but managed to make a family camping trip to Filey in September.
But she then broke her leg and was knocked unconscious when she fell downstairs at home.
She was taken to hospital for the last time with breathing difficulties.
“She was literally gasping for breath,” said Keith. “She fought so hard.”