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Daily Record
Daily Record
Abigail Nicholson & Todd Fitzgerald & Hannah Mackenzie Wood

Heartbreak as mum with 'beautiful soul' dies after collapsing at airport

The devastated parents of a mum who tragically died after collapsing at an airport have described her as a "a beautiful soul" who had "so much love for her daughters".

Melissa Kinsella suffered a heart attack while on holiday in Turkey with partner Jay Smith, his family and their three children - Chloe, nine, Beau, four, and Romi, two.

The 30-year-old was due to fly home on Monday, May 15, but she suddenly fell to the floor at Antalya Airport and was immediately rushed to hospital. Here, doctors discovered she has swelling on her brain and heart.

The mum, from Moreton in Merseyside, was put on a ventilator and her family set up a crowdfunding campaign to bring her back to the UK. Melissa was then flown home by air ambulance on May 24 and immediately taken to Arrowe Park Hospital. Despite medics best efforts, she sadly passed away just two days later on Friday, Mary 26.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Melissa's mum, Michelle Heathcote, 51, and her husband, Steven, 52, paid tribute to their 'loving and smart' daughter.

Michelle, who lives in Leasowe, said: "She lived for her girls, she was hardworking, had a dirty laugh and she was such a good mummy. She had so much love for those girls. She was very hard working doing beauty and hair, she was a little whiz kid with the colours.

"She was so clever, she actually went to uni three times, trained to be an accountant but then got pregnant, then trained in nursing and got pregnant again before going back to beauty. She got 12 GCSEs and three and a half A-Levels. She was so dizzy, the girls in work used to call her messy Missy."

Melissa Kinsella and her partner Jay Smith (Liverpool Echo)

Steven said that he and Michelle were supposed to be joining Melissa on holiday, but there was a mix up while planning the trip. He explained: "When we started booking to go to Turkey we were all going together, Melissa, Jay, the kids, us and her in-laws, so we asked her where we were going as we used to go to Marmaris when she was a kid. She said 'we're going to Marmaris'.

"As it started getting closer. she was sitting with her in-laws and they said 'we're going to Antalya'. We couldn't change the booking."

Michelle said: "When we were told she collapsed we travelled for four-and-a-half hours in a taxi and it cost us £250. They [the hospital] just kept asking for money and we were worried the credit card was going to run out. I put up a post on Facebook and I never in a million years could have imagined the response. I thought people might tell me what to do but I was so overwhelmed and grateful."

When Melissa arrived at Arrowe Park hospital, there were no medical notes and staff had to run multiple tests to determine her condition. Three hours later, doctors gave her family the heartbreaking news that their daughter had no brain activity.

"It was just so sad, we were all crying - her dad, me, and her sister were all crying," Michelle added. "They said they would leave it until tomorrow to give her a chance, but I think I knew then that she was brain dead.

"They told us she had registered to be an organ donor in 2022 with specific parts of her body. Even though it was beautiful, it was so surreal, they said we could come back and see her before she went down [for surgery] the next morning.

Melissa Kinsella with her partner Jay Smith and two children (supplied)

"When her dad came in the room the next day she moved, and I went to kiss her on the head and she moved again. Her dad made them run all of the tests again with him in the room, but they said they were involuntary movements."

The family are now in the process of planning a funeral 'fit for a princess' for Melissa. They have already organised a horse and carriage and a white casket ready for when her body is released by the the coroner.

Michelle said: "We have been blown away by all of the support. I have had over 400 friend requests and I think around 5,000 people have liked my Facebook post. These people are strangers, and they have been so generous with the GoFundMe and people are still fundraising to help the girls and to help us give Melissa a funeral fit for a princess.

"We are so grateful."

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