TRIBUTES have been paid to a "hero" nurse who carried on working with terminal cancer up until she died.

Susan Davies, of Hengoed, worked as a nurse at the Aneurin Bevan Health Board at the University of Wales Hospital and also went into schools to give inoculations to pupils.

Around five years ago Ms Davies was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, but two years ago was told the disease had spread to her lungs and was terminal.

According to her sister Andrea Fitzgerald, the 47-year-old did her best to hide the illness and carry on with her day-to-day life working as a nurse and spending time with her partner John Lear and 16-year-old son Tom Lear.

Throughout her illness, Ms Davies underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy but died on July 14 - having been at work just a few days before.

Her sister has described her as "the most wonderful woman" and "hard worker".

Mrs Fitzgerald said: "She was a wonderful person and a wonderful nurse. Everyone who met her said she smiled at everything. She was a great friend as well as a family member.

"She wanted to act like everything was normal, she wanted to carry on working and didn't want to worry her son Tom.

"I knew but we only told family it was terminal when she started chemotherapy in June last year. It was devastating when we lost her. She was amazing."

And at the beginning of December, the "hero" nurse was given a special recognition at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Staff Awards night for her "outstanding dedication, commitment and resilience in the face of very difficult and unusual circumstances."

Mrs Fitzgerald said although the family are still heartbroken over her death, the award was something which made them proud.

"The award was a staff event but myself and Susan's partner John went and John accepted the award. It was so heart-warming for us.

"We always want to remember our hero nurse who gave her everything for everyone and held it together.

"She was fantastic and her family -especially her son Tom - was her world."