A devastated family are determined to raise awareness of the ‘silent killer’ that took the life of Daventry mother, Gemma Jones, at just 28.
Gemma died suddenly of viral myocarditis, a rare heart condition, in March last year just months before she was due to marry her partner of five years and 18 months after the birth of her son, Harry.
Gemma’s parents Lynne and Kenneth along with brother Simon, sister-in-law Hannah and their four young children want to do all they can for the British Heart Foundation following her death.
Lynne Jones, of the Grange, said: “Gemma had no major health problems and had been to the doctors the week before she died.
“She looked tired and had large bags under her eyes but had been on a pre-wedding diet and was doing really well.”
She said: “I had been off work and spent the last couple of weeks with Gemma planning for her wedding. The dress was ordered and we were shopping for other bits.
“It was devastating to lose her so quickly like that but I am thankful to have had that time with her before she died.”
Leading the fundraising efforts, Hannah Jones, of TheGrange, said she has been overwhelmed by the support already offered to Gemma’s Fund by local businesses including Orange Blossom, Harpers and Halfords.
She said: “Gemma is missed by all. She was a warm, bubbly and loving person who never failed to make friends.
“By raising money for BHF we want to show that heart illnesses not only affect the elderly as well as encourage people to look after their hearts.”
Described as the ‘life of the party,’ Gemma Jones is much missed by her family.
Born in Daventry, she attended the Grange nursery, infants and junior school, William Parker and Daventry Tertiary College.
Gemma held several jobs in Daventry including one at Corals before she had her son Harry in September 2010.
Her brother, Simon Jones, 37, said his children, aged 9, 8, 6 and 5 remember Gemma as the auntie they wanted to follow at the family parties.
He said: “My girls remember her dancing around the Nene Hall and having loads of children dancing with her. She played quite a big role in their lives because we had such a good relationship and I think they have been knocked the most by this.
“After Gemma died one of the girls ran at her school sports day with a photo of Gemma in her pocket because she said it would make her run faster.
“And of course Harry (Gemma’s son) remembers her too. He points at photos and says ‘mummy’, he still knows who she is.”
Mr Jones will be swimming pier to pier in Bournemouth for Gemma’s Fund on July 14. He also plans a night ride from Manchester to Blackpool on what would have been Gemma’s 30th birthday weekend in September..
The family will hold a charity raffle and fun day on August 24 at the Nene Hall and are appealing to businesses for their help. To help contact Hannah on firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/hannah-jones30 or for more information visit www.gemmasfund.weebly.com.