A MUM-OF-FOUR who passed away on New Year's Day was never able to get over her daughter's tragic death, her son has said.
Carol Middlehurst, from Clinkham Wood, died on Sunday, January 1, after developing pneumonia from a long-standing Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) condition.
With COPD causing breathing difficulties and damage to the lungs, a recent rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis was a "very dangerous mix" and led to her being taken to Whiston Hospital on Christmas Eve.
After her loving family rallied around her bedside over Christmastime, Carol died aged 61 in the arms of her son Paul.
Describing his mum as a "lovely human being who would do anything for anyone", Paul said he felt Carol's health deteriorated after the tragic loss of her only daughter Claire.
Paul said that Claire's death was ruled as suicide by the coroner's office, in October 2020.
Paul, 42, said: "My mum's health really deteriorated in the last week of her life, but I believe she died of a broken heart.
"She was very close to Claire and never got over losing her only daughter.
"She always thought she didn't do enough and she went into her shell a lot after what happened."
Following Carol's passing, Paul said he has found multiple letters and poems in her possessions that were addressed posthumously to her daughter, in an attempt to move on from her grief.
As two strong women have now left the Middlehurst family, those close to them have set up a fundraiser to show their support and ease the financial stress and help with the upcoming funeral costs.
While still devastated, Paul said this has been a huge boost to the family during the difficult time.
He added: "My mum grew up in children's homes when she was younger, so to bring up such a loving family after that is a feat in itself.
"I was very close to both her and my sister, so I know some of the heartbreak she was going through. It's a sinking, horrible feeling day in and day out.
"But I have got to be strong for myself and my family, and do my best to make my mum proud so she is looking down smiling."
Carol is survived by her three loving sons; Paul, Tom, and Ryan, as well as many lifelong friends.
To support the Middlehurst family with the funeral costs, you can donate to the fundraiser here.