A brave North Wales mum who defied the odds to beat Covid has died aged 53. Melissa Haythorne, who had multiple sclerosis, was positive right till the end, according to her grieving brother. Melissa had contracted the virus during the pandemic in October 2021 but pulled through. However, more recently her overall health declined and she passed away on May 28.
Now her family has set up an appeal to help her children – son Lucas, now 13, has Down’s syndrome and her daughter Jasmine, eleven – with donations from the people of Prestatyn and beyond already pouring in. Born in Kingston upon Thames. Melissa and her family moved to North Wales when she was around three years-old and she attended attended Gronant primary school and Prestatyn high school.
Her brother Andrew Evans says Melissa was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 18. Before the diagnosis, Melissa had trained and become a skilled florist – working in Holywell and Flint and later independently – and continued to do this even after her diagnosis. But then Covid-19 struck the nation. He said: “In October 2021 she contracted Covid and sadly had to be ventilated for ten days.
Read more: The family who live off grid on Yr Wyddfa and they wouldn’t have it any other way
“With her health condition, it was incredibly unlikely that she would have survived this. But despite all the odds being stacked against her, and despite the doctors preparing to do a tracheotomy as a last resort due to the severity of the situation, Melissa somehow managed to turn a corner with her vitals and pulled through without it.
“Talking to her afterwards, she maintains that she pulled through in order to get back to the children who needed her.” She absolutely adored Lucas – her first child – and “completely immersed” herself in making his life her priority, says Andrew. Melissa was a fantastic example of someone who was dealt with adversity in her life and adapted things in order to care for the needs of others, according to her brother.
Her daughter Jasmine Neve Haythorne is “full of life” and an incredibly protective and caring little sister to Lucas. She had such a close relationship with her mum and was always by her side. She begins high school in September.
Andrew said: “She had such a strong sense of character. All of her adult life she has had to fight and battle against ill health and factors beyond her control.
“Post Covid she had regular counselling in order to help her with the trauma of what she had gone through, again taking steps to keep herself strong so that she could continue to care for her children to the best of her ability. She was always singing and bubbly, always had a smile on her face.
“She always maintained a positive attitude right till the end. Her fun loving attitude is what she was known for,” added Andrew. Melissa was a ‘fan of all things Disney’ and she was obsessed with the film Grease, Dirty Dancing, Abba and the colour pink (including her love of flamingos).
Sign up for the North Wales Live newsletter sent twice daily to your inbox
Melissa was also an Everton FC fan through and through. Ironically she died the morning that the Toffees managed to stay in the Premier League and “would have been celebrating this with anyone she would have encountered”, says Andrew.
Now a GoFundMe appeal has been set up to help the children. Andrew says Melissa was raising her children singlehandedly and had no designated next of kin. He said: “Sadly her children are left without their primary carer.
“Melissa had such an enormous network of friends who have lovingly reached out and set up a ‘g fund me’ page to help cover the costs of the funeral but more importantly to raise some funds to create a protected trust fund for her children’s future.”
He added: “The people of Prestatyn have shown so much support throughout Melissa’s illness and are determined to continue to support her children even after she is gone. The family applaud everyone who has helped so far and are immensely grateful for any help provided for the children in absence of their loving devoted mother.”
* To donate click on the link: https://gofund.me/f0895261
* A funeral will take place on Friday, June 16 at 11am at Denbighshire memorial park St. Asaph LL17 0LG followed by internment at 12.15pm Coed Bell cemetery, Gronant Road, Upper Gronant, Denbighshire LL19 9HA.
#Brave #North #Wales #mum #battled #odds #beat #Covid #dies #aged