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Relatives of midwife who died out of the blue on flight had been ‘so excited’ about British isles return, say neighbours


The family of a midwife who died on board a flight to Britain had been ‘so excited’ about returning to the British isles and had planned to begin a ‘new chapter’ and renovate their property soon after residing in Hong Kong for 15 several years, neighbours discovered – as a fundraiser to assist them nears £20,000. 

Helen Rhodes, a ‘devoted’ mother, died as she was travelling residence to the British isles with her partner Simon and their son and daughter on August 5 immediately after residing in Tung Chung, Hong Kong.

A couple hrs into the flight, Mrs Rhodes – a midwife –  was found unresponsive and could not be resuscitated. It is thought she passed away in her snooze. 

Her human body then remained in her seat for eight several hours upcoming to her devastated small children, before the flight landed in Frankfurt. 

A GoFundMe appeal has been set up by household buddy Jayne Jeje to support the spouse and children ‘honour our expensive buddy Helen’ and to assist with unanticipated repatriation and funeral fees. So far it has lifted more than £18,000 of a £20,000 target and mates and wellwishers have flooded the internet site with touching tributes.  

Helen Rhodes (right) was travelling home to the UK on August 5 with her husband Simon (left) and their two children Nathan and Emma after living in Tung Chung, Hong Kong, for more than 15 years

Helen Rhodes (correct) was travelling household to the Uk on August 5 with her husband Simon (left) and their two youngsters Nathan and Emma immediately after living in Tung Chung, Hong Kong, for extra than 15 a long time

Mrs Rhodes’ entire body continues to be in Germany and is nonetheless to be repatriated. Her husband and two small children, Nathan and Emma, had to go on on to the United kingdom without her.

John Moore, neighbour for ‘many years’ to Helen, 46, and her husband Simon, 49, nowadays instructed how her tearful mom mentioned her daughter died of a ‘suspected heart attack’.

The 87-calendar year-outdated reported: ‘It’s a awful tragedy. She died on the aircraft coming around. She sort of collapsed. They believe she suffered a heart attack. Her mom arrived round this early morning and explained to me about it. She was in tears and my spouse was in tears.

A GoFundMe appeal has been set up by family friend Jayne Jeje to help the family 'honour our dear friend Helen' and to help with unexpected repatriation and funeral expenses. So far it has raised more than £18,000 of a £20,000 target and friends and wellwishers have flooded the site with touching tributes

A GoFundMe appeal has been set up by spouse and children mate Jayne Jeje to assist the spouse and children ‘honour our expensive mate Helen’ and to aid with unexpected repatriation and funeral expenses. So much it has raised more than £18,000 of a £20,000 target and buddies and wellwishers have flooded the website with touching tributes

‘I just are unable to recognize it. She was so in shape and balanced and she worked in the healthcare job. They have experienced this home for several a long time. They moved to Hong Kong about 15 many years ago. They failed to hire it out. They retained it. 

‘They ended up going to have the home performed up and were wanting ahead to coming back property and beginning a new daily life. I experienced the keys and applied to obtain the mail and give it to her mum. We had been all searching forward to them coming back and looking at the youngsters.

‘We realized they ended up coming back for excellent. They were so enthusiastic about it. They were supposed to be again on Friday but then this happened.

‘The small children are with their grandparents. It ought to be a horrible detail for them with what they have been by. It does not bear thinking about.’

A different neighbour, who also knew the family for quite a few several years, added: ‘It’s seriously, truly unfortunate. We have been listed here for 35 several years and they came following us. They were truly good. I was definitely unfortunate to hear about it these days.

‘She was only in her mid 40’s and the children are in their early teens. They used to arrive back again every summertime and would invest the summer right here and then go back again all over again.

‘I have not seen Simon. Her side of the spouse and children dwell nearby and they are having treatment of each and every other there. They had been out there for 15 many years. I would talk to them when they arrived back again and they would say they have been getting a wonderful everyday living there.

‘They had a superb lifestyle. She was this kind of a charming individual. She would talk so positively about her career in these kinds of a optimistic method. Her kids genuinely enjoyed it more than there. They were being fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin.

‘They have been a truly content few, generally so optimistic. It is a wonderful disgrace they have to go as a result of this now.

‘They had a good time there but ended up seeking ahead to coming back. They hadn’t been below for 3 many years since of Covid and they ended up looking forward to looking at her mother and father again right after this sort of a lengthy time.

‘They ended up likely to appear back again and do up the house and now this has transpired. I just don’t know what they will do.

‘We were being looking ahead to having them back. Now, instead I have popped over there with a condolences card.’

Mrs Rhodes’ aged parents have been much too upset to talk about the tragedy.

A tearful female answered the door at the dwelling of Edward Yerby, 84, and spouse Margaret, 80, in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

She reported: ‘They’re not in a condition to say something I am frightened.’

Mrs Rhodes' body remains in Germany and is yet to be repatriated. Her husband and two children, Nathan and Emma, had to continue onto the UK without her

Mrs Rhodes’ human body stays in Germany and is nevertheless to be repatriated. Her husband and two kids, Nathan and Emma, had to carry on onto the British isles devoid of her

Ms Jeje described how the loved ones ended up ready to ’embark on a new chapter’ and Mrs Rhodes was ‘looking forward’ to looking at her aging mothers and fathers whom she hadn’t seen considering that the commence of the pandemic.

She wrote: ‘Helen and her loved ones wrapped up a lifestyle in Hong Kong of around 15 yrs to embark on a new chapter living again house in the British isles. 

‘Helen was enthusiastic and nervous about the go, but looked forward to seeing her family back again house, as she had not found her loved ones or growing old mothers and fathers given that the pandemic commenced. Unfortunately, she by no means got to see them once again.’

She continued: ‘We are nonetheless in disbelief and shock about the sudden passing of our dearest mate Helen Rhodes, whose life has touched numerous people in Hong Kong and the Uk.

‘Helen was one of a variety, a gem. She was a midwife by occupation, and was generally willing to lend a serving to hand or assistance to any person who necessary it. 

‘Helen loved to chat and designed mates easily. She was the pulse of her group in Tung Chung, in Hong Kong. 

‘She couldn’t wander a couple of toes and not run into a person she understood by title. She was an early member of a limited knit numerous group, called Tung Chung Mums. 

‘Over 200 women who 1st appeared to her if they had a concern relating to everything professional medical connected. 

‘Helen generally made herself readily available to assistance many others. She was clever, witty and generous with her time.’

A midwife by profession, the 'one of a kind' mother 'lay in a breathless sleep' in her seat for the remaining eight hours of the flight until the plane landed in Frankfurt. Pictured: Hong Kong

A midwife by career, the ‘one of a kind’ mom ‘lay in a breathless sleep’ in her seat for the remaining eight several hours of the flight until the plane landed in Frankfurt. Pictured: Hong Kong

She added: ‘Helen was sharp and artistic. She ran her personal business producing remarkable bespoke bows and equipment. Helen took delight in every little thing she did, and her bows had been beautiful. 

‘This fundraiser is to honor this attractive female who was beloved by so numerous, a expensive close friend who touched so quite a few folks. 

‘We can only hope she realized how a great deal she intended to us and how her void can never be crammed. 

‘How this reduction is so unpleasant and surreal. The grief we experience is paralyzing. Nevertheless, we experience blessed to have recognised her.’

Describing what happened, Ms Jeje reported: ‘On August 5, 2022. Helen passed away in her rest on her flight from HK to United kingdom. Helen was located unresponsive a number of hrs into the flight. 

‘Despite all attempts, Helen was not able to be resuscitated. This all unfolded in entrance of her little ones. For the remaining 8 hours of the flight, Helen lay in a breathless snooze in her seat. 

‘Although this was very traumatizing to the household, they all experienced time to say what they needed to say to her.

‘Needless to mention, they are devastated. This loss is unimaginable. Helen was a devoted spouse and mother. She was the glue that held her family alongside one another. 

‘After landing in Germany and the protocol that followed, Helen remained in Frankfurt while her husband (Simon) and two young young children (Nathan and Emma) experienced to go on to the United kingdom devoid of her.’

Andrew Spires, admin of Tung Chung Tower Communities’ Fb webpage, compensated tribute to Mrs Rhodes.

He said: ‘Sadly Tung Chung’s really personal Helen Rhodes handed away on a flight back again to the United kingdom. She was with her husband Simon, and two young children.

‘I knew Helen only on a ‘school gates’ degree but she was the most caring, generous and considerate person also the most chatty! Tung Chung and college decide-up won’t be the identical without you.

‘Wishing all the most effective to her spouse and children heading forward – I hope they at some point locate some peace.

‘Live existence to the fullest folks, and hugs the types you really like.’

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