UK

Obituary: Susan Levy

Susan Levy Image copyright Other
Image caption Mrs Levy's family were left 'devastated'

The first victim of the 7 July bombings to be formally identified, Susan Levy was travelling from her home in Hertfordshire to the City, where she worked as a legal secretary.

Mrs Levy, 53, was described by her husband Harry as a "devoted" wife and "truly loving mother" to Daniel, 30, and Jamie, 28.

In a statement read at an inquest five years after her death, Mr Levy, who met his wife in 1975 when he was working as a long distance truck driver and married her a year later, said the family "did everything together".

He said for Daniel, who lived in Australia, "the most important part of his day was to open his computer in the morning and find a message from his mother waiting for him", and for Jamie, they were "friends as well as mother and son".

The inquest heard also that Mrs Levy "loved her job and was very good at it".

Born on 17 December 1951, Mrs Levy had become accustomed to sharing the first half of her 17-mile commute from Newgate Street Village, near Cuffley, with her younger son.

On the morning of the attacks she had said goodbye to Jamie, who got off at Finsbury Park, while she remained on the Piccadilly Line train which exploded underneath Russell Square.

'Much loved'

At the inquest, Dr Alistair Mulcahy, a consultant anaesthetist at the Royal London Hospital who was working as a volunteer doctor for the British Association for Immediate Care on 7/7, said Mrs Levy was discovered struggling to breathe with "very severe lacerations" to her legs.

Asked if she could have survived if a tourniquet was applied to her limbs at the scene, he simply said: "Yes".

Mrs Levy was later pronounced dead at the Royal London Hospital.

The family's tragedy was exacerbated even further when it emerged that the day after Mrs Levy's death, her estranged sister Ruth Frankel had died in hospital after a long illness.

The two sisters had not spoken for about eight years and Mrs Frankel had not been aware her sister was missing in the London attacks.

Mrs Levy was a "valued and respected member of our extended Jewish family", the inquest heard, "an intelligent, outgoing woman, loved by her many friends" and someone who had the "rare quality of being able to put people at their ease".

A couple who met Mr and Mrs Levy on holiday in Florida five years ago told the Guardian she was the "type of person that once you met her you felt you had known her for years".

"Her smile was enchanting, her laughter contagious," said Lucille and Edward Welchman.

"When we became grandparents, she and Harry adopted our grandsons as their own.

"'Aunt Susan was special - Gabriel is the only child in first grade here in Port Charlotte who has a backpack from Harrods."

More than 100 family members and friends attended Mrs Levy's cremation in a private service in Golders Green, north London.