Derbyshire councillor dies after undergoing high-risk surgery initially delayed due to Covid-19

A Derbyshire councillor has died after undergoing high-risk surgery which was initially delayed due to limited hospital space caused by Covid-19.

Coun Joyce Pawley, who represented Masson ward including the parishes of Bonsall, Cromford and Matlock Bath, underwent a seven-hour operation in Nottingham last month to stop pre-cancerous cells turning cancerous.

It was a potentially life-saving operation and although Coun Pawley initially seemed to be recovering well, she passed away on Saturday, February 27.

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'Much loved' Coun Joyce Pawley has passed away after undergoing on high-risk operation

She spoke at the end of January about the operation originally having to be postponed – after waiting over three hours to be taken down to theatre – due to pressure on bed space caused by Covid.

Before it finally took place four days later, she issued a personal plea for everyone to be more Covid aware.

She said: "For those of you who think what you do does not affect others - think again, it does.

"I am sitting here washed out and angry. Angry at ignorance, angry at denial and angry that our doctors and nurses are not appreciated more than they are.

"Offering them a few weeks of well meaning clapping in 2020 is not enough. We have gone beyond that, they need to know that we are all willing to play our part in stopping the spread of this disease; otherwise all the massive contributions that they have made will seem lessened.

"Our NHS and patients like me who have done everything they can to avoid getting the virus need your help. Bite the bullet, do the right thing, follow the rules and play an active part in stopping this virus in its tracks."

Coun Pawley, who described her work as a councillor as the highlight of her life, served on the District Council's Community and Environment; Planning; Licensing and Appeals; and Ernest Bailey Charity Committees.

She had also been a creative Member Representative of the Communications and Marketing Hub.

Announcing her death on Monday evening, Derbyshire Dales District Council said the much-loved councillor “made a huge contribution to local life on behalf her constituents.”

Her family have respectfully requested privacy at this time.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.