A Market Harborough mum has spoken of her “worst nightmare” after her mother and aunt both died of brain haemorrhages within 24 hours of each other in different countries.
Kellie Aikens, 34, said she couldn’t believe she’d lost both her mum Amanda Williams, 54, and aunt Jacqueline Williams, 57, in the devastating double-blow earlier this month.
Inspirational Kellie, who’s still recovering after having serious brain surgery herself just months ago, is now working flat out to bring her aunt’s ashes back from Germany.
“This is the worst nightmare you could imagine – it really is a million to one.
“I’m trying to organise everything while thinking to myself ‘how can this even be true?’
“To lose both my mum and my aunt so closely together so tragically just doesn’t seem logical or possible,” she told the Harborough Mail.
“I’m just trying to stay strong for my little boy because he worshipped both his nan and my aunt and I am calmer because we had talked about things.
“I want to do my mum and aunt proud and celebrate their lives, they were such fantastic people.
“My mum was also my best friend – we were so close.
“I want to do my best for her and make her proud.”
Kellie got a call from her Vienna-based cousin Charlene, 39, on Thursday, September 5, telling her that her aunt Jacqueline, 57, had been rushed to hospital with a brain haemorrhage.
The mum-of-one immediately rang her mother at her home in Shepshed saying her sister was seriously ill in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, where she lived with her German boyfriend.
“I called her between 11.40am and 12.30pm.
“I tried mum again no more than 20 minutes later to make sure she was all right,” said Kellie, who has a son Jack, five.
“But she’d collapsed in the street near her home after popping out.
“A nurse and off duty police officer went to help her in Charnwood Road, Shepshed, and I was so shocked when the nurse answered my call on my mum’s mobile.
“My mum’s brain had gone but they managed to get her heart going again and she was taken to Glenfield Hospital.
“I’m so grateful to them for helping mum and I’d love them to come forward so I can thank them personally.
“I drove straight to hospital and stayed with her until she died on the Saturday afternoon.
“I’m so pleased that I had that final time with my mum because it was so precious.
“I even did her lipstick before she went because I knew that would mean so much to her.”
Kellie’s aunt Jacqueline died the previous day on Friday September 6 and neither sister regained consciousness. She said her mum had donated her corneas and possibly her heart as well.
“My mum was a hypnotherapist while my aunt was a masseuse.
“They spent their lives helping people and they are still helping others after passing away,” said Kellie.
“I would urge everyone to consider donating their organs because not enough of us do – and it could mean the difference between life and death.”
Married to Ash, she’s now working with the German authorities to have Jacqueline flown home so the sisters can have a joint funeral at Leicester’s Gilroes Cemetery on Monday,
“The thing that struck you most about my mum was her brilliant smile – it lit up her whole face.
“She was so warming, so loving, so much fun.
“She’d light up the room and take over the room when she walked in,” recalled Kellie.
“We’d talk to each other five or six times a day and we were hoping to move her here to Harborough next year to be much closer to us.
“I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour in May last year and I had it removed in February.
“My mum was so much support to me all the way through such a tough time and she’d been under a lot of stress.
“We both loved London and especially Big Ben.
“I’m hoping to scatter some of mum’s ashes in Big Ben’s Tower because we loved it with a passion.”
Kellie’s close friend Helen Springthorpe, of Scraptoft, Leicester, has launched a fundraising page to help pay for the joint funeral.
She had raised £1205 of her £2500 target by Thursday afternoon (September 19) and if you would like to donate please click here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/to-celebrate-the-life-of-amanda-and-jacqueline