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‘Jackie was just a wonderful wife and mother. She lived for her kids’
A YORK man is coming to terms with the sudden death of his wife from a brain haemorrhage – only three years after the death of their son at the age of only 21.
Shaun Metcalfe, of Healey Grove, off Malton Road, said the loss of his wife, Jackie, 48, had left him “shell-shocked” and struggling to come to terms with her loss so soon after the death of his son, Barry.
Mrs Metcalfe’s death also means Mr Metcalfe is now sole carer for his other son, Jamie, 20, who is severely disabled.
Mrs Metcalfe suffered from diabetes and initially when she complained of a headache on May 31 her husband thought it could be something wrong with her blood sugar levels.
But her condition got so bad he had to call an ambulance.
Within seconds, and while he was on the phone to the operator, she began to have a fit and she had lost consciousness by the time the ambulance arrived only minutes later.
She was taken to York Hospital, but she had suffered a massive brain haemorrhage. The bleeding on her brain was too severe and doctors were unable to save her.
Mr Metcalfe, a volunteer van driver for AgeUK, said Barry had died three years ago after he developed pneumonia following a bad chest infection.
Between them, Mr and Mrs Metcalfe cared for their severely disabled son, Jamie, 20, who has cerebral atrophy and severe epilepsy. Mr Metcalfe said: “Jackie was just a wonderful person, a wonderful mother and wife.
“She lived for her kids and she was just devastated when Barry died – we both were. We were married for 26 years, and we did everything together.
“We were a partnership and have devoted our lives to caring for Jamie for 20 of those years between us as he needs round-the-clock-care. I’m on my own now and I’m a bit scared of the future, but I suppose I’ll have to get on with it.”
The couple have always been involved in fundraising for charity and when Jamie was younger they campaigned to save St Dymphna’s day care centre in Fulford, which cared for pre-school children with disabilities.
They also successfully raised money to take Jamie to Florida to swim with dolphins at a US treatment centre when he was five.
In May this year, the family returned to Florida and had what turned out to be their last holiday together.
Mr Metcalfe said: “We have been blessed to go to some wonderful places, but I would give anything to have my wife and son back with me.”
Mrs Metcalfe’s funeral took place on Thursday at Holy Trinity Church in Heworth.
Mr Metcalfe said that the service was packed with mourners.