THE family of a popular York woman who died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage aged just 47 have spoken of their grief and shock at her untimely death.

Karen Miller, from Acomb, was a vibrant and much-loved figure to her friends, family, and customers at her busy hair salon in Acomb.

She had not been ill and her family saw no warning signs before she collapsed at work last Friday.

For Alan, her husband of 27 years, the news Karen had died came in a phone call at 3.30pm.

At first, Alan thought Karen had simply worn herself out by over work but soon realised something more serious was wrong.

He drove straight to the salon where paramedics were treating Karen before they took her to York Hospital.

There Alan spoke to his wife, who was drifting in and out of consciousness, as doctors struggled to save her.

“She was clutching the left side of her head, then suddenly she grimaced and I could tell something was wrong.”

Doctors rushed Karen into the resuscitation room and before long told Alan they were sending her to hospital in Hull for specialist treatment.

He called the family to her bedside, but within an hour the doctors told Alan his wife was not likely to survive. She was pronounced dead the next day.

Alan said: “I just don’t believe it. She was so full of life and she held the family together.”

Losing Karen has left Alan, their two children Kayleigh, 21, and Simon, 23, and their five-year-old granddaughter Latiah devastated, and they have had hundreds of messages from friends and customers shocked by her death.

“Kaz just loved everybody.

Everyone she met liked her straight away. She was always helping people.

“She would get her customers shopping for them and would volunteer me to help people when something had broken in their house.

“If someone was sick, she would go to their home to cut their hair.”

Mr Miller said that his wife was so helpful that she had even arranged to go and cut an old lady’s hair at the lady’s house at 8.30am on a Sunday.

Living and working in York all her life, Karen was a very well-known face in the city.

She spent years building her hairdressing business up from nothing, and was devoted to her family.

Alan said: “A five-minute walk around Acomb would take us two hours, so many people would stop and chat to her. She was such a beautiful lady, and she had beautiful blue eyes. I have never met anybody with a personality like hers.”