Tributes to nurse who ‘lived life to the full’

Jayne Toal Reat.
Jayne Toal Reat.

The woman stabbed to death on Christmas Day was a well-known nurse at the Bluestone Unit of Craigavon Area Hospital.

And her daughter, whose life she saved, has been a winner for the past two years in the Strictly Craigavon Dancing competition.

Jayne Toal Reat and her daughter Charlotte Reat were attacked in their Lisburn home in the early hours of Christmas morning.

A 19-year-old man was arrested soon afterwards.

In a Facebook post, Charlotte said, “My mum died saving me. I was stabbed twice in the head, once in my face and once to the back of my neck. I can still feel her in my arms and hear her screams of pain and see the panic on her face.”

John Creaney, Unison trade union rep at the hospital, said Jayne’s colleagues were “in total shock”.

“I got the phone call at 11.30 on Christmas morning and I couldn’t take it in. It felt as if someone had ripped my heart open. To think that other families were sitting together opening presents and this family was having to organise a funeral.”

He described the respected nurse as a “bubbly, smiling person who lived life to the full and was full of laughter and fun”.

He added, “Jayne was a dedicated nurse and very professional at her job. On behalf of Unison Craigavon, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the family on their tragic loss.”

The tragedy also shocked members of Moyraverty Arts and Drama Society (MADS). Jayne’s daughter Charlotte, who is a talented dancer and choreographer, came runner-up in the annual Strictly competition, held last month by MADS.

And last year, Charlotte and her dance partner were the winners of the show.

Kieran Corr, chairman of MADS, said members were “in shock and gutted” by what had happened.

He added, “Charlotte is really into her dance and choreography and last year we raised money to help her attend a three-month residential course in Los Angeles.

“We extend our deepest sympathies and are thinking of her at this time.”