Northern Ireland news

Family of Tyrone mother-of-two (41) who died from alcohol addiction hope to help others in her memory

Tracy's family now hope to help other addicts in her memory
Marie Louise McConville

THE family of a Co Tyrone mother-of-two left "distraught" by her sudden alcohol-related death have told how they hope to help other addicts in her memory.

Tracy Guy, who was 41, collapsed and died at her home in the Castleview Park area of Omagh last week.

The cause of death was recorded as alcohol poisoning/liver disease.

Ms Guy leaves behind a daughter aged 11 and a son aged just one.

Her sudden death followed a more than 20-year battle with alcohol which began in her late teens and resulted in her largely cutting herself off from loved ones.

Glenda Donald told how alcohol "totally zapped all life" out of her sister, leaving her "numb".

She said she remembers Tracy as someone who was "carefree and happy" and had "the potential to do anything she wanted" before addiction took hold.

"She had a great spirit and was so smart and had so many friends... she just pushed everyone to the side," she said.

"She was an addict from her first drink. It was uncontrollable from that."

Glenda said her sister never acknowledged she had an issue with alcohol and they "heard more through friends".

She said there was no warning of her death.

"Other people go into hospital a few times, she had no issues at all," she said.

"I miss her. You always think there's time. I always thought she would be the one to say she needed the help but it didn't happen. It destroys families. It just pulls everyone apart."

Glenda, a mother-of-four, said she and her brother David and a friend have now decided to do something to help other addicts.

The trio are preparing to run the Belfast Marathon in May in a bid to raise funds for Ramona House, a rehabilitation and treatment service in Omagh.

"Ramona House is an addiction treatment centre, it is the only one of this type this side of the Bann," she said.

"We want something positive to come of this nightmare and hopefully something her children can be proud of and I suppose if somebody else reads this and takes the chance that Tracy didn't, makes them think `I need help' and go for the help, her death won't have been totally in vain."

Glenda said other families or anyone in need of help should seek support.

"There's just seems to be such shame," she said.

"I think she (Tracy) was just proud. She didn't want people to know that she drank. Families don't want to admit they have a drinker in the family.

"Go and seek help and talk to your family - people want to help, don't be embarrassed by it."

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