March 18, 2019 5.54 pm This story is over 62 months old

An inspiration: Lincoln mum who fought landmark RAF pension battle dies

“A zest for life”

Tributes have been paid to a loving Lincoln mum who has lost her battle with cancer.

Ex RAF officer Samantha McConnell, 46, fought to have her service pension given to her two miraculous IVF ‘twins’ born years apart.

She won her landmark case after a personal intervention by the Defence Secretary in September 2018. Gavin Williams changed regulations to that her children would receive her payments.

It’s understood Ms McConnell died at a local hospice last week.

Retired RAF linguist Samantha served for 20 years. After she left the RAF, she achieved her dream of a family through IVF and had two children, Grace and Rory.

Her children were just two and five when she received the devastating news that she had terminal pancreatic and liver cancer. She had noticed symptoms just four weeks before and was told she had just weeks to live.

Friends set about raising money for the children’s futures

A Justgiving page was set up for the children, who will be cared for by Samantha’s cousin and her family.

To date, kind supporters have contributed more than £35,000.

The creator of the page, Tina Bessell, wrote: “Pancreatic cancer has taken the life of Flt Lt (Rtd) Samantha McConnell – a wonderful strong and inspirational woman with two young children.

“She has faced many life difficulties and now her children, whom she chose to have alone, are deprived of their amazing role model.

“Full of energy, zest for life and craziness, Sammi leaves a gaping hole in the world.”

In a special message to her supporters, Samantha said previously: “Don’t forget to live your lives fully and look after each other – and I am so grateful that you all have looked after me and will continue to do so for Grace and Rory when I’m gone.”