Brave Rebecca loses battle

EMILY Doig carries her mother’s smiling eyes and mannerisms.

“She’s a cracker,” her grandfather Brian Martin said yesterday.

For Mr Martin and his family, 15- month-old Emily is the special circle of life they’ll cherish, following the passing of their daughter last Sunday, aged just 32. Former Goulburn resident Rebecca Doig died at Normanhurst’s Bowden Brae care facility with her father, mother Cheryl and husband, Scott by her side.

Diagnosed with a rare Alzheimers type disease in August 2009, amyloid proteins had slowly attacked her brain making the simplest of tasks like walking, talking and eating difficult.

Rebecca was one of only a few people throughout the world with the gene, known as PSENO1, which effectively shut down her brain and bodily functions, rapidly so at the end, Mr Martin said.

“Her passing was very peaceful,” he told the Post yesterday.

Despite the dementia-like symptoms taking hold, Rebecca’s eyes always lit up upon seeing her husband, little girl and family.

Their nanny would take Emily to see her every day for the past year she had been at Bowden Brae. Last year, knowing of the couple’s plight, the Goulburn community and Hornsby Council, Scott’s employer, fundraised and installed a new kitchen in their home to make life easier.

Mr Martin said the work had made a big difference. Today Hornsby Council employees still see Emily as their child.

He praised the high level of care Rebecca received at Bowden Brae and was touched by staff members’ sadness at her passing. Indeed, she had touched many people.

“The thing I’ll remember most is her expressions of joy,” Mr Martin said.

“She was always happy and laughing. She never blamed anyone for her condition. She just said ‘I don’t want to be like this’.

“Her eyes were always sparkling and shining. We miss her terribly but know she’s not suffering any longer.” Rebecca is also survived by her brother Stephen and sister Kerelyn. Her funeral service will be held at Goulburn’s Seventh Day Adventist Church tomorrow at 11am.

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