A ‘BRIGHT, bubbly and dedicated’ heavily-pregnant woman has died after collapsing in her Ulverston home.

Nicola Wood, 29, who was nine months pregnant, took maternity leave just four weeks ago as she prepared for a new life with her first child and husband David.

But about 1.20pm on Saturday Mrs Wood suffered a suspected cardiac arrest at her home at The Orchards.

She was airlifted to Furness General Hospital, Barrow, but later died.

Hospital staff carried out an emergency caesarean section and the baby was transferred to the specialist neo-natal unit at the Royal Preston Hospital. Today (Wednesday), the condition of the baby girl Mrs Wood was carrying was described as critical by police.

Mrs Wood grew up in Hawkshead where she worked at Stewardsons Outdoor Clothing, on Main Street.

“She was really looking forward to becoming a mum and will leave a big hole in the business,” said co-worker Richard Stewardson, 27.

“She was the best member of staff: bright, bubbly and dedicated and also showed a real interest in what she was doing. When we heard, there was utter disbelief and the staff were all shell-shocked.”

Miriam Bailey, headteacher of John Ruskin School, which Mrs Wood attended, said: “She was a delightful young lady.

“As a student she was happy, studious and demure. A few years ago I met her by coincidence at a family social occasion and she hadn't changed at all.”

She continued: “In a close-knit community like ours, everyone is affected by tragic circumstances like these. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.”

A police spokesman said there were no suspicious circumstances and the coroner had been informed.