Tributes paid to adored young Chesterfield mum who died after brave battle with cystic fibrosis

Jay Victoria Maxine Smith. Picture submitted by family.
Jay Victoria Maxine Smith. Picture submitted by family.

The mother of a young Chesterfield woman who died after bravely battling cystic fibrosis has paid tribute to her much-loved daughter.

Jay Victoria Maxine Smith sadly passed away surrounded by family at her home on Foston Drive, Holme Hall, on Friday. The mum-of-one was just 28.

Jay Victoria Maxine Smith. Picture submitted by family.

Jay Victoria Maxine Smith. Picture submitted by family.

Her mother Lorraine Astell told the Derbyshire Times: "Jay was loved by so many people and touched so many hearts.

"She was incredibly kind and thoughtful.

"She battled cystic fibrosis so bravely over the years.

"Every day was a struggle for Jay - cystic fibrosis is a horrible illness, a hidden illness - but she fought it with everything she had and always had a smile on her face thanks to her wonderfully dry, dark sense of humour.

"She loved life and packed a lot into her 28 years while always keeping positive.

"I have so many wonderful memories of my daughter which will never go away.

"She'll be very sadly missed."

Lorraine said Jay had a number of interests, including spending time with her daughter Harlow, who turns nine on Monday.

Another of Jay's passions was spending time with Hasland tattoist Brownie, adding to her collection of many tattoos.

She loved to express herself by dancing at Directions Theatre Arts on Sheffield Road since 2005.

Lorraine added "I'm sure Julie and Geoff Cox, all the staff and many children will sadly miss their Miss Jay, one of her favourite quotes being 'the show must go on'."

Tributes - including from inspirational Harlow - have been paid to Jay as part of Directions Theatre Arts' 25th anniversary celebrations this week.

She also spent time with a wide circle of friends who suffered from cystic fibrosis and often bought them gifts to raise their spirits and make them smile.

And Jay loved going out for lunches with her brother Gavin who said she would choose the most expensive steak on the menu and devour every piece.

Gavin added: "Despite her being so tiny she packed food away with a ferocious appetite."

Jay is survived by Harlow, Lorraine, father Steve, Gavin, stepfather Tony and stepmother Marie.

Her funeral will take place at Chesterfield crematorium at 4.10pm on July 26.

A white horse-drawn carriage will carry Jay in a rose gold glitter coffin which she personally chose herself, proving her dark, witty sense of humour that everyone loved her for.

Lorraine said: "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who's sent flowers, cards and messages since Jay sadly passed away.

"She will never be forgotten.

"She will dance on forever."

What is cystic fibrosis?

According to the NHS, cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition which causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive system. This causes lung infections and problems with digesting food.

In the UK, most cases of cystic fibrosis are picked up at birth using the newborn screening heel prick test.

Symptoms usually start in early childhood and vary from child to child, but the condition gets slowly worse over time, with the lungs and digestive system becoming increasingly damaged.

Treatments are available to help reduce the problems caused by the condition and make it easier to live with, but sadly life expectancy is shortened.

For more information about cystic fibrosis, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/cystic-fibrosis