Tracey Smith bought her children's Christmas presents and wrapped them up ready for the big day.

But the devoted mum will not be there to see their faces as they open their gifts.

Mrs Smith has tragically lost her fight for life at the age of just 32 after a two year battle against leukaemia.

Her husband Paul paid tribute to his “courageous” wife and vowed to make Christmas as special as possible for his children Holly, 12, Maximus, nine and Noah, four.

He said: “Tracey always enjoyed Christmas and wanted to make it a magical time for the children.

“She had already done most of the shopping and the wrapping and so there is not a lot else for me to do.

“We will try to do everything we possibly can to make this Christmas fun for the children and the rest of the family.

“Tracey wouldn't want us moping around.”

Mrs Smith, of Deal Avenue, Seaford, was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in October 2008 when she was sent for routine blood tests and she was immediately admitted to Eastbourne District General Hospital to start chemotherapy.

In April 2009 it was decided she needed a bone marrow transplant and she was then transferred to King's College Hospital in London.

The Anthony Nolan Trust launched a world-wide hunt for a suitable donor after a match could not be found in this country.

Eventually a donor was traced and Tracey had her first transplant.

She appeared to be recovering well but this was not the case and in July this year had a second transplant which also subsequently failed.

She was due to have more treatment with donor cells but her condition deteriorated and she also developed pneumonia.

Tracey died at Eastbourne District General Hospital (DGH) on December 7.

Her husband Paul said: “It all happened rather quickly.

“However she was always positive and an amazing person to be around.

“People were really impressed by her strength.

“Her family and friends were so important to her and it is not surprising that she had already got the children's presents.

“The children are coping well at the moment and are trying to be very strong.

“Tracey was always so grateful to the donors who came forward for the bone marrow transplant.

“They gave her another chance and two precious years with her family.

“We will always be thankful for that.

“I urge people to show support for Tracey's memory by signing up to the Anthony Nolan bone marrow register.

“It helped our family and it could help save the life of another person.”

Mr Smith, 35, also paid tribute to staff on the Pevensey Ward at the DGH.

He said: “They were true professionals and were extremely supportive.

“The level of care that Tracey received was outstanding and I cannot thank them enough.”

To sign up to the register, visit or call 0303 303 0303.

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