A RESPECTED dance teacher from Yorkshire managed to steer her car to safety after suffering a brain haemorrhage while driving pupils on a day out – but tragically died the next day.
Mother-of-two Donna George, 48, of Huddersfield, described as an “inspirational” dance teacher, was driving four teenage dance pupils home after a meal out when she suffered the haemorrhage.
She managed to pull the car over to the side of a steep hill in Lepton, Huddersfield, before she collapsed by the side of the road.
Her shocked pupils rallied round to help, with one performing CPR and another ringing for an ambulance.
But despite their desperate efforts, Mrs George, who ran the Georgie School of Theatre Arts in Shelley, near Huddersfield, died the following day at the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
Tributes have been paid to the popular teacher who taught thousands of pupils in the last 20 years.
Her devastated husband Ken George – an actor who appeared on the Gladiators TV show and now runs a film production company – said: “Donna’s motherly instincts must have taken over and she managed to steer into the kerb.
“The dancers had been really helping her so she decided to taken them out for a meal as a treat.
“The girls were brilliant. While a 17-year-old gave Donna CPR, a 14-year-old stopped traffic and they called 999.
“They kept going until the paramedics arrived.”
Mr George told how his wife had taken about 10 teenage pupils out for a meal on Wednesday night and was travelling down the road at about 10pm when she suddenly became ill.
He said that his wife’s heart had stopped for about 30 minutes, but the 999 crew managed to restart it in the back of the ambulance and she was rushed to the infirmary where an emergency team was waiting to take her to the intensive care unit.
She died on Thursday at about 3pm with her family – 22-year-old son Elliot and 19-year-old Courtney – at her side together with her husband, and sister Lisa.
Mr George contacted Courtney, who is training at the Lane Theatre of Arts in London, at 1am on Thursday.
She caught the first train to be at her mother’s side.
The couple’s son Elliot has recently qualified as an engineer at David Brown’s in Huddersfield.
Mr George, who had been married to his wife since 1992, the same year she set up the dance school, added: “Donna remained in a deep coma until the end, but we would like to think she knew we were all there with her.”
He said tributes continued to pour in to the family home from across the world.
“I know Donna was so special but now I realise that everyone thought the same,” he said.
“She helped to shape so many lives in such a positive way.
“She was a caring person who lived life to the full and she wanted everyone to reach their full potential.
“She was very good at guiding people and had a sixth sense of what to say to get the best out of people.”
Mrs George was born in Dewsbury and educated at Earlsheaton High School in the town. She did most of her early dancing in the Batley area.
She established the Georgie School of Theatre Arts in 1992. It later moved from Shepley to Barncliffe Mills in Shelley, where Mr George’s film production company is also based.