A mother has spoken of her devastation after her partner died just nine months after the death of their six-year-old daughter.
Joey Ayres and boyfriend of 12 years, Mark Barfoot, lost their little girl Lyla on March 1 this year.
She tragically died a week after she was rushed to hospital complaining of a headache, Lincolnshire Live reports.
Heartbroken Joey says it gives her comfort to know Mark is now with Lyla.
But she has been left "heartbroken" by her loss.
Mark suddenly passed away on November 13 after he collapsed on his way to collect his and Joey’s two year old granddaughter and had a heart attack.
Paramedics and members of the public rushed to help – but despite their best efforts, the 47-year-old was pronounced dead at Lincoln County Hospital at 6pm, the same time to the minute that Lyla died.
A devastated Joey – who also lost her sister Sharon this year – said: “Mark had just left after picking up our grand-daughter from SureStart.
“He was on his way back to get the bus when he collapsed outside the shops.
“I got calls from a lot of people – I was in total shock, I couldn’t believe it was happening again.”
She added: “Mark was a perfect dad – he really was.
“He was loving and kind and would do anything for anyone. Family was his life and his world.
“I am heartbroken – we all are.
“It gives me comfort to know he [Mark] is up there with Lyla.
“My eldest sister Sharon passed away in a hospice this year.
“We have had three die in nine months. 2018 really has been a horrendous year. You couldn’t write it in a book.”
Despite her pain, the mum-of-seven says she put her pain to the back of her mind to ensure she is there for her family.
“It is hard but I am trying to stay strong,” she said.
“I want to make Christmas as magical as possible for the kids and the grandchildren.
“Mark would have wanted me to carry on and be strong.”
The mum has also endured the most horrendous situation any parent could face – trying to explain to her 11-year-old son, Mason, that his dad had died.
“Mason is heartbroken," she said.
"He keeps saying Daddy is hiding and he is going to find him.
“He said he can’t enjoy Christmas because it isn’t fair that his sister and dad aren’t here.
“As a mother, that is heartbreaking to hear – it is the worst thing anyone can go through.”
Despite her grief, the mum says she is grateful for all those who tried to help Mark and all those who have worked to raise money to help support the family.
She added: “I want to thank One-Stop for doing some fund-raising for the family.
“I want to thank everyone who helped on the night Mark passed away.
“I want to thank Ermine Primary Academy who are holding a memorial service for Lyla on December 13.”
A GoFundMe page has now been set up by a friend to help raise money for the funeral and to support the family.
To find out more and donate, click here .
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