NEELA Muley was football-mad, full of joy and lived life to the full.
But her life ended just a week after she visited an optician complaining of a vision problem.
A day after the eye appointment, doctors at Queen Alexandra hospital diagnosed a brain tumour.
Neela, 34, of St Paul’s Road, Southsea, collapsed a week later while visiting a friend and died just hours later in hospital.
Her devastated family are still coming to terms with the shock and have paid a heartfelt tribute to her.
Her aunt, Sandra Masoud, 69, of King Street, Southsea, said: ‘She was beautiful inside and out.
‘It’s just absolute shock. Thirty four – it’s no age.’
The tragic series of events began with Neela enjoying a drink with her family at The Irish Club, in Southsea, saying that the next day she was going to Specsavers.
‘She said her vision was a bit off,’ said Sandra.
A swelling was found behind her eyes and she was given an emergency hospital appointment.
Doctors scanned her head and found a tumour.
Sandra said: ‘The doctor came over, got hold of her hand and said “I’m very sorry to tell you have a brain tumour”.
‘You can imagine the shock.’
But over the next week Neela remained in high spirits, joking with friends.
‘She would say “I have a brain tumour, I’m not dying,” said Sandra.
The day before a hospital appointment in Southampton to organise an operation, Neela, an NHS administrator, left Southsea to see a friend, Cath Harris, in Romsey.
Sandra said: ‘I said “don’t forget to keep your mobile on and don’t be home too late”. She said “I’m 34, I’m not a child”.
‘Then at about 6.30pm we got a call from Cath to say Neela had been taken to hospital in Southampton after having a seizure.’
That night Neela was sitting up in bed eating a sandwich and she and Cath urged Sandra not to travel as she would be alright.
At 2.30am Sandra got a phone call to say Neela had suffered a massive seizure and was on life support.
The machine was switched off two hours later.
Sandra said: ‘She did not know anything – this was the blessing.
‘There were 14 doctors trying to save her and they fought really hard.’
Neela was a life-long Liverpool supporter and You’ll Never Walk Alone was played at her funeral last week at St John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth.
Sandra added: ‘The evening when she was taken into hospital, she wanted to be out that night because there was a match on.’
NEELA Muley was a keen tennis player, playing at Portsmouth Indoor Tennis Centre and The Avenue club in Havant.
Jo Dallas, 45, manager of Portsmouth Indoor Tennis Centre, said: ‘She was a lovely girl.
‘She was a very good tennis player and started playing here when she was about 16.
‘She was always ready to help. It’s just very sad. It’s not fair.’
Neela was well-travelled. Her favourite destination was Dubai and she planned to visit Thailand this Christmas.
She had a degree in journalism and had written several articles for The News as a neighbourhood news correspondent.
A burial service took place at Milton Cemetery.
She was buried alongside her mother, Dolores Muley, who died three years ago from cancer.
Dolores was well-known as she was the lollipop lady at Portsmouth Grammar School for more than 20 years.