THE wife of a respected tourism boss who developed a blood clot and died just days after spraining his ankle on holiday in Turkey last night paid tribute to her "kind and marvellous" husband.
Father-of-two David Hunter – a founding director of the Northumberland Tourism organisation – collapsed last Sunday at his Amble home after twisting his ankle while on holiday with his wife in Icmeler.
Paramedics made frantic attempts to revive the 59-year-old and he was taken to Wansbeck Hospital where specialists carried out scans before discovering a blood clot on his lung.
Despite emergency treatment, Mr Hunter, who became general manager of Doxford Hall in 2010, suffered a heart attack in the early hours of Monday and he died in hospital 24 hours later. Last night his wife of 32 years, Sue, spoke of her heartache and paid tribute to a “loving family man” who “went out of his way to help others”.
Mrs Hunter, 59, who was being comforted by the couple’s two children, Rebecca, 30, and James, 24, at her home in Amble, Northumberland, said: “It’s such a shock – this time last week he was still here. He was so fit and so active. Last Sunday we got up as normal and I heard a bang on the bathroom floor and he had collapsed.
“When I couldn’t bring him round I knew it was something more serious so I phoned 999. Instinct takes over but the ambulance crew were fantastic and they were here in five minutes.
“At that time we didn’t have a clue what was wrong. After a CT scan that’s when they found the clot on the lung. He had sprained his ankle in Turkey the week before when he just missed the last step and twisted over.
“We bandaged it up the next day and he went to hospital when he got back but we didn’t think it was anything serious. You just wouldn’t believe it.” Six years ago Mr Hunter’s sister, Sally, died at the age of 50 after suffering from cancer.
His father, Rodney, died in 2008 at the age of 91 while his mother, Sheila, 88, still lives in Alnmouth, Northumberland.
Mr Hunter, who was born in Hartlepool and grew up in Morpeth, met Sue in London more than 30 years ago when they worked for the same hotel.
But over the past three decades the pair had travelled around the country before Mr Hunter returned to the North East to take up a string of jobs at some of the region’s finest hotels.