‘Devoted’ mother dies on a plane in front of her children as family return home to Britain after living in Hong Kong for 15 years
- Helen Rhodes was travelling with her husband Simon and their two children
- A few hours in, she was found unresponsive and could not be resuscitated
- She ‘lay in a breathless sleep’ in her seat for remaining eight hours of the flight
A ‘devoted’ mother-of-two has died suddenly on a plane in front of her children and husband.
Helen Rhodes was travelling home to the UK with her husband Simon and their two children Nathan and Emma on August 5 after living in Tung Chung, Hong Kong, for more than 15 years.
A few hours into the flight, Mrs Rhodes was found unresponsive and could not be resuscitated after passing away in her sleep.
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.
Mrs Rhodes’ body remained in Germany while her husband and two children had to continue on to the UK without her.
The ‘extremely traumatizing’ incident unfolded in front of her children, a friend of the family wrote.
Helen Rhodes (pictured) was travelling home to the UK on August 5 with her husband Simon and their two children Nathan and Emma after living in Tung Chung, Hong Kong, for more than 15 years
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Jayne Jeje to help the family with unexpected expenses and to ‘honour our dear friend Helen’. It has so far raised more than £10,000.
Ms Jeje described how the family were ready to ’embark on a new chapter’ and Mrs Rhodes was looking forward to seeing her aging parents whom she hadn’t seen since the start of the pandemic.
She wrote: ‘Helen and her family wrapped up a life in Hong Kong of over 15 years to embark on a new chapter living back home in the UK.
‘Helen was excited and nervous about the move, but looked forward to seeing her family back home, as she had not seen her family or aging parents since the pandemic began. Sadly, she never got to see them again.’
She continued: ‘We are still in disbelief and shock about the sudden passing of our dearest friend Helen Rhodes, whose life has touched many people in Hong Kong and the UK.’
‘On August 5, 2022. Helen passed away in her sleep on her flight from HK to UK. Helen was found unresponsive a few hours into the flight. Despite all efforts, Helen was not able to be resuscitated. This all unfolded in front of her children. For the remaining 8 hours of the flight, Helen lay in a breathless sleep in her seat. Although this was extremely traumatizing to the family, they all had time to say what they needed to say to her. Needless to mention, they are devastated. This loss is unimaginable. Helen was a devoted wife and mother. She was the glue that held her family together. After landing in Germany and the protocol that followed, Helen remained in Frankfurt while her husband (Simon) and two young children (Nathan and Emma) had to go on to the UK without her.
‘Helen and her family wrapped up a life in Hong Kong of over 15 years to embark on a new chapter living back home in the UK. Helen was excited and nervous about the move, but looked forward to seeing her family back home, as she had not seen her family or aging parents since the pandemic began. Sadly , she never got to see them again.
‘Helen was one of a kind, a gem. She was a midwife by profession, and was always willing to lend a helping hand or advice to anyone who needed it. Helen loved to talk and made friends easily. She was the pulse of her community in Tung Chung, in Hong Kong. She couldn’t walk a few feet and not run into someone she knew by name. She was an early member of a tight knit diverse group, called Tung Chung Mums. Over 200 women who first looked to her if they had a question concerning anything medical related. Helen always made herself available to help others. She was clever, witty and generous with her time.
‘Helen was sharp and creative. She ran her own business making amazing bespoke bows and accessories. Helen took pride in everything she did, and her bows were exquisite. This fundraiser is to honor this lovely woman who was loved by so many, a dear friend who touched so many people. We can only hope she knew how much she meant to us., and how her void can never be filled. How this loss is so painful and surreal. The grief we feel is paralyzing. Yet, we feel lucky to have known her.’
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