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Teacher Tracy Tozeland, of Greenacre Academy, Walderslade, dies of cancer

A popular teacher has died just days after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 54.

Tracy Tozeland passed away after being taken to hospital suffering from sickness and dehydration.

Teacher Tracy Tozeland
Teacher Tracy Tozeland

When normal medication didn't work, a scan revealed the previously healthy English and media teacher at Greenacre Academy, Waderslade, was "riddled" with the disease.

Eddie Tozeland, 62, her husband of five-and-a-half years, described her as "sunshine", "a lovely bubbly lady" who changed his life.

The retired maintenance supervisor was at her side with her parents Roy and Shirley Chilmaid when she died at Medway Maritime Hospital, two days after birthday.

Tracy left Fort Pitt Grammar School for Girls in Chatham and got a job in London working up to the position of head of accounts. Made redundant in 2002, she decided to train to be a teacher and joined Greenacre where she became head of media studies.

Eddie added: "She told me she wanted to be a teacher from the age of four, but did not get the grades. She loved her job and had time for everyone."

Happy couple Tracy and Eddie Tozeland
Happy couple Tracy and Eddie Tozeland

The couple connected on the internet and after they eventually met six weeks later, they fell in love instantly.

They got married in Ashford in December 2016 and went on honeymoon to Malta.

They liked to travel, particularly to the coast where they enjoyed walking, and Tracy was a dab hand at gardening at their home in Jackson Avenue, Rochester.

Eddie, who was forced to give up work because of a back injury, said her death was so sudden and they had made many plans for their future.

He said: "She showed no symptoms of cancer. All I can say is she did not suffer, she was not in pain or lost her hair through chemo."

Tracy with parents Roy and Shirley Chilmaid after qualifying as a teacher
Tracy with parents Roy and Shirley Chilmaid after qualifying as a teacher

Eddie would like to say a special thank you to the female porter who allowed him time with his wife before she died.

He said: "I can't thank her enough. I had time to bathe her and wash her hair before she passed away."

Her death follows that of fellow Greenacre teacher Mark Dallas, who died of cancer in December 2019.

Head teacher Shelly Bridger also paid tribute, saying: "We are all terribly shocked and deeply saddened at the news of losing Tracy.

"She worked for the academy for more than 13 years. She was an inspiring and wonderful teacher who was well respected and loved by all who knew her.

Greenacre Academy head teacher Shelley Bridger
Greenacre Academy head teacher Shelley Bridger

"We were all so happy for her when she met and married Eddie and found true happiness with him.

"She cared deeply for the students and staff and we will miss her terribly. This is a tragic loss for our school community."

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