LOVED ones of a young Greenock woman who has died at the age of just 23 have told of their devastation at the tragedy.

Shannon Malone Strang passed away at Inverclyde Royal last Thursday, a week after being admitted to the hospital to undergo surgery.

The charity volunteer had been complaining of numbness and pain in her feet for almost three months and had been to casualty three times before the night that she was admitted.

Shannon, a former Notre Dame High School pupil, lived with her grandmother Ray Strang in Belville Street, who is grief-stricken by the loss of her precious grand-daughter.

She said: “Never in a million years did I think that she wouldn’t come back out of that hospital.

“It’s such a shock.

“We’re devastated.

“She was such a lovely lassie and had such a beautiful smile.”

The 72-year-old had looked after Shannon all her life and became her next of kin when both her parents died two years ago.

Ray said: “Shannon had sore feet and she could hardly walk and this numbness moved to her hands.

“She was in terrible pain and described it as walking on sandpaper.

“She had been examined by her GP and flinched when he examined her stomach, so he booked her in for an ultrasound scan.

“This showed she had gallstones and she had also been very sick.

“She had been at A&E three times and the fourth time she was admitted. 

“She could hardly walk — it took three of us to help her into casualty, then she collapsed.”

Ray, Shannon’s uncle John, 48, and her ‘sister’ Stephanie O’Donnell, a close friend who was brought up with her, claim doctors failed to pinpoint what was wrong with Shannon and didn’t listen to what she was telling them.

Ray said: “Shannon was in so much pain but no-one believed her.

“The nurse in A&E said that she should get a season ticket, then five days later my wean was dead.”

Stephanie added: “She was beautiful and caring and always had a big smile on her face.

“We need answers for Shannon, to know what happened to her.”

Shannon underwent a gallbladder operation the day after she was admitted and appeared to recover well from the surgery.

But two days later she suffered a seizure and was moved to the high dependency unit.

From then Shannon’s condition rapidly deteriorated.
Warning bells started to ring last Tuesday, when Shannon started to hallucinate and was violently sick.

Her heart rate shot up and she had an emergency CT scan and was diagnosed with pneumonia and treated with antibiotics.

Shannon spoke to her gran on Wednesday afternoon but within a few hours she was fighting for her life in intensive care on a life support machine.

Ray said doctors had carried out many tests to try and find out what was wrong.

She said: “First they thought it was scabies, then scarlet fever, then glandular fever and septicaemia.”

A neurologist was also sent down to see Shannon from the Southern General in Glasgow, who thought she had shown symptoms of Guillain–Barré syndrome, a rare auto-immune disease which damages the nervous system, causing muscle weakness and pain.

Shannon was due to undergo more checks at Paisley but was deemed too ill to be moved — and she died on the day she was due to get the tests.

A post mortem was carried out yesterday and now Ray is awaiting word on exactly what happened to her grand-daughter.

She said: “When the priest came to administer the last rites, that was when I thought she was going to die and we all broke out crying.”

Loved ones had kept a vigil at Shannon’s beside the night before she died, and had been told by doctors that she was stable and they would call them if there was cause for concern.

Ray said: “The doctor told me that she was stabilised and said he was happy with her, she had a strong heart and her age was in her favour.”

But a few hours later Shannon suffered a cardiac arrest and doctors couldn’t save her.

By the time the family arrived at the hospital it was too late and she had slipped away.

Ray said: “I got a call at 5.45am to say she was deteriorating.

“We got there at 6.05am and she had died at 5.55am.

“They told us that she had arrested during the night and they tried to resuscitate and they were very sorry.”

It is another terrible blow for Ray, who lost her daughter Doreen aged 44, in December 2015.

Shannon’s dad Michael Malone, 51, died in January of the same year.

Distraught Ray said: “Shannon lived with me since she was born.

“She was heartbroken about losing her mum and dad and wouldn’t part with her mum’s clothes. 

“I thought it would have been me who died before anyone else.
“I wish it had been me.”

Shannon, who had lots of friends, did charity work at the British Heart Foundation shop and Cancer Research Shop in Port Glasgow.

She also took on a placement at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Greenock and did a course in caring at West College Scotland.

In four weeks she was to be a bridesmaid at Stephanie’s wedding to her fiance James McCairn.

Stephanie, 28, said: “I’m broken, I wanted to cancel the wedding. 

“I’m totally gutted.”

Stephanie, whose mum was Doreen’s best friend, said: “We’re all like one big family even though we are not blood-related.”

She now faces the ordeal of helping to organise Shannon’s funeral and finalising her own wedding, with both ceremonies to be held in the same church, St Laurence’s in Greenock.

The local community has meanwhile rallied round following Shannon’s sudden death and friend Jade Hoggan has launched an online appeal to support the family, with £850 raised towards funeral costs, and anyone who wants to make a donation should visit

NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde have told the Telegraph they are investigating what happened to Shannon.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like to offer our sincere condolences to this patient’s family.

“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

“This patient attended the emergency department at Inverclyde Royal Hospital late on the 29th June 2017 and was admitted for surgery.

“Regrettably her condition deteriorated rapidly during the subsequent few days and despite all efforts to provide critical care for the lady, she passed away in intensive care on the 6th July 2017.

“As is normal practice following an unexpected death we are undertaking a review of this patient’s care and our staff will be in touch direct with the patient’s family to discuss this further.”