THE family of a grandmother who died during an emergency medical flight from Turkey after suffering a serious head injury have paid tribute to her.

An inquest heard that Margaret Burdis, of Darlington, was on the second day of her holiday in Dalaman, Turkey, last June, when she missed her step while dancing near the edge of a stage, and hit her head on a concrete block.

After three weeks in hospital, during which time she underwent surgery for a bleed on her brain, Mrs Burdis, 68, was being airlifted back to the UK when her condition deteriorated.

Despite the efforts of the onboard doctor Mrs Burdis died during an emergency landing in Brindisi, Italy, on June 17.

Her family described her as a ‘warm, loving and kind lady’ who had been taken from them too soon by the accident.

An inquest into Mrs Burdis’ death, held at Chester-le-Street, heard that she died as a result of traumatic head injuries, complicated by the blood-thinning drug Warfarin.

Mrs Burdis was on holiday with her friend of 20 years, Margaret Kirby, who witnessed her fall.

Mrs Kirby said: “Margaret wasn’t a drinker. She got up to dance on the stage, which was unlike her.

“She must have been too near the edge and missed a step down from the stage. She tried to save herself but she went forward and hit her head on a concrete block.”

Mrs Burdis remained conscious for several hours after the incident, but collapsed while in hospital and was rushed into intensive care.

Her children, Anne Newrick and Robert Burdis, flew to Turkey and stayed by her side until an air ambulance was arranged to fly her back to the UK. She died during the flight.

Crispin Oliver, deputy coroner for County Durham, recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Speaking after the verdict, Ms Newrick paid tribute on behalf of her children, Elise and Lewis, her son’s girlfriend Carley, and her brother Rob and his partner, Joe.

She said: “My Mum was a fabulous, warm, loving and kind lady, much loved by both her family and friends.

“Not an hour of the day goes by when I don't think about and miss her, her death has left a large hole in the lives of us all. We hope she is in heaven with our Dad and having the time of her life.”

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