Bridge Champion Dies After Rare Winning Hand
A veteran Bridge player collapsed and died after claiming victory with a rare winning hand. Friends said that she may have been overcome with excitement and that she died "the perfect Bridge player's death."
Wendy Brown, who was 80 years old, had played the game for 50 years and achieved the status of Premier Life Master. She had limited her appearances in recent years due to ill-health, but was still playing twice a week and remained the undisputed champion of her home county of Cornwall.
However, she died Tuesday last week after playing a rare 29-point hand while competing with friends at the John Betjeman Centre in Wadebridge, in south west England.
Her friends tried to revive her but she was thought to be dead by the time paramedics arrived. Her son Charlie told the Exeter Express and Echo that she suffered failure of one of the major blood vessels near her heart, but he still took comfort in the fact that she died doing something she loved.
"The other members of the bridge club responded magnificently and tried everything to revive her," Charlie said.
"But when all is said and done, it was a lovely way to go. I can imagine the smile on her face when she looked at her cards and she knew she had a winning hand. She died doing what she loved to do."
The maximum number of points in a bridge hand is 37, and the 29-point hand that Wendy scored was extremely rare.
Charlie added: "In effect she played this remarkable hand and collapsed and died immediately afterwards.
"Wendy had 29 points in her hand. I haven't seen a 29 point hand, if ever, or certainly not for a very long time. I can't remember seeing one with more points than that in the past 18 years or so.
"Wendy will no doubt have been extremely excited by getting such a hand. My theory is that she couldn't take the excitement."