Heart defect killed 'our brilliant friend'
Charliee Hamer (below) died from an undiagnosed heart condition. Pictured above are her friends including sister Becky, centre, and fiance Ben Winfield
A TEENAGER died from an undiagnosed heart condition after collapsing while waiting for the bus.
Passers by tried desperately to revive Charlotte Hamer who collapsed in Witney town centre.
The former Abingdon and Witney College pupil was last night described as “a brilliant person who always had a smile on her face”.
The 18-year-old was pronounced dead at around 8pm at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital last Thursday.
She had collapsed at a bus stop in Market Square about an hour earlier while returning home from her job at Sainsbury’s.
Her fiance, 18-year-old Ben Winfield, who lived with Miss Hamer in Curbridge, said: “She was lovely, and one of the best people you could ever meet.
“She was a brilliant person who always had a smile on her face.”
Her friends said a postmortem found Miss Hamer had died because her pulmonary artery was not attached to her heart properly so it was not getting enough oxygen.
Miss Hamer, who was known as Charliee, was unaware she had the condition.
South Central Ambulance staff confirmed they were called to Witney’s Market Square at 7.16pm.
A spokesman said a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance attended and found a girl who appeared to have fainted.
He added she then went into cardiac arrest and paramedics attempted to revive her. Former boyfriend Connor Hayes, 20, from Witney, said: “When I found out she had passed away I just broke down in tears.
“She was bubbly and always happy. She didn’t let anything get her down.”
Miss Hamer left college in October 2010 and worked at the town’s branch of McDonald’s for several years.
Since the end of last year she had been working on the tills at Sainsbury’s in Witney.
James Richardson, 18, from Witney, worked with her at McDonald’s.
He said: “She was one of the loveliest people you could ever meet.
“She was a great friend and so many people cared about her.”
This week about 20 of her friends have been gathering in Witney’s Market Square to protest about the fact that her body will be released to her estranged parents.
A petition has been started to change the law allowing the body to be released to Mr Winfield, which has currently been signed by more than 200 people.
Miss Hamer’s sister, 21-year-old Becky Hamer said: “We want to change to law so that it is not parents who gets the body if they are not living with them.”
The Oxfordshire Coroner’s Service last night said an inquest would not be held into Miss Hamer’s death.