Published: 15:38, 31 December 2020
| Updated: 16:08, 31 December 2020
A devastated boyfriend whose partner died on Christmas Eve has described her as having "the biggest and most beautiful smile".
Leigh Allaway, a learning and development assistant from Tonbridge, died at Tunbridge Wells Hospital just hours after discovering she had a form of blood cancer. She was just 26.
She had been admitted to hospital on December 6 suffering with back pain, which was subsequently diagnosed as the genetic condition neurofibromatosis, and her partner Harry Gill believed she would soon be able to return home to the flat they had shared since September.
Mr Gill, a 27-year-old accountant, says his "heart is completely shattered" by the loss of Ms Allaway.
Writing a moving tribute on Facebook, he said: "You will never realise just how much love and happiness you brought into my life every single day.
"Always singing, dancing and making people laugh. Always so friendly and warm to everyone you met. You had such a big heart and lived life with the biggest and most beautiful smile which always made me feel like the luckiest man in the world.
"My heart is completely shattered but I will always think about how you were so strong and so brave. You were so perfect to me I really thought nothing could ever break us apart.
"I will always be so proud to be your boyfriend and so thankful for everything you did for me. No words can ever describe how much you will be missed but I promise I will always remember how incredible you were.
"Rest in peace my beautiful Leigh."
The sad news of Ms Allaway's death prompted a close friend of the couple, Will Kellett, to start a crowdfunding page to raise money to support Mr Gill through the coming months of mourning.
So far more than 200 donors have raised almost £8,000 in memory of Ms Allaway.
Mr Kellett said: "I know it's said that the best ones are taken too early and that it happens to the best, kindest people. This really couldn't be more true.
"She was amazing, really, and Harry is a truly great, kind and caring man. I'm not Harry's only best friend. A few people would call him their best friend because he's just that great of a person.
"It has happened to the best people at the worst time. Everyone's still in utter shock.
"I'm in complete shock at the generosity of everyone. I just hope this will help Harry at this devastating time."
Friends and family have posted tributes to Ms Allaway on social media since her death. Her sister Michelle wrote on Facebook: "We didn’t realise we were making memories, we thought we were just having fun."