The mother of a 20-year-old student who died suddenly after putting off treatment because she couldn’t afford it has spoken about her tragic death as a warning to others.
Victoria Hills, from Chichester, had complained of an earache when she went to bed at her halls of residence on the morning of Saturday, February 3.
She didn’t wake up and she was found a day later in her room at Bournemouth University.
Her mum Tracey Hills said: “She had an ear infection over Christmas but didn’t go to the doctors because she knew she couldn’t afford the prescription.
“She was just a bit snuffly but it cleared up when she returned to uni and was fine.
“The week before she died she told be she wasn’t feeling well again and I offered to pay for her prescription because I was working by then.
“But she thought she just had the flu going around.
“On the Wednesday she messaged to say she was going to dose herself on painkillers, try to eat and go to bed.
“She sent me a giff of a hug and I sent her a heart. That was the last time we spoke.”
The first-year student, a former Bishop Luffa and Chichester College student, known as Vicky, had asked friends for painkillers on the Saturday morning. But, Tracey said, with most going home for the weekend, that was the last time she was seen alive.
Tracey said: “She was all I had, it was just me and her, she was everything to me.
“She was just so caring and funny and lovely, she always loved to help people, even when she was tiny.
“When she was back at Christmas she said ‘I really am a mother hen’ because she looked after her uni friends.”
The cause of Vicky’s death is yet to be confirmed, but Tracey said it was highly likely to have been sepsis, a deadly blood poisoning caused as the body’s defence to an infection.
Tracey said: “Never in a million years did I think what looked like flu would kill her.
She warned: “If you even suspect you might have an infection you must go to the doctors straight away.”
A fundraising page set up by one of Victoria’s friends to help her single mum pay for the costs of her funeral has so far reached more than £4,700.
View the page and donate here: https://uk.gofundme.com/bournemouth-uni-students-farewell
Vicky had formerly worked at Pizza Hut in Chichester, recruitment company SPR and, for the last two years, worked as track marshall at Goodwood Festival of Speed and Revival.
“She absolutely loved doing the Goodwood events and was looking forward to coming home to do them again this summer,” Tracey added.
Vicky was studying Music and Sound Production at Bournemouth and her mum said her saxophone was her ‘pride and joy, it was everything to her’.
Vicky’s friends have paid tribute to her here: https://nervemedia.org.uk/nerve/memoriam-vicky-hills/