Mum who collapsed while getting kids ready moves to hospice to 'die in her own time'
A mum-of-three has been moved to a hospice after her family's life totally changed when she collapsed while getting her children ready for school.
Gemma Louise Tuck's sister says she can die in her 'own time' after the decision was made about the closing stages of her life.
The 30-year-old from Salford, Manchester, suddenly fell ill one morning when she had a cardiac arrest.
The devoted mum to twins Charlie and Cameron, aged three, and eight-year-old Callum then suffered severe brain damage on March 17.
Gemma was not thought to have suffered any heart problems before.
Her younger sister Nicole Reed has told the Manchester Evening News the devastating story.
“She woke up at about six o’clock to get her boys up and her partner could hear weird noises coming from the bathroom and found her on the floor unconscious,” she said.
“Whilst the ambulance was on the way, he tried to get her breathing again but he couldn’t.
“She was unconscious for around twenty minutes, they finally got her conscious in hospital and she’s been in an induced coma ever since then.”
In hospital, Gemma suffered a number of seizures due to the brain damage she had suffered from being unconscious for so long.
Gemma was later diagnosed with long QT syndrome, a condition affecting the heart rhythm patterns.
“I think the time between falling at home and getting to hospital, she had four cardiac arrests,” Nicole said.
“Long QT syndrome is a very rare condition, it’s either passed down or it’s a genetic mutation.
“Me, my mum and her kids are going to have to get checked over to see if we have it.”
In hospital, Gemma’s family were unaware of the severity of her condition until a neuroscientist confirmed the hospital’s initial concerns at the end of June.
“The hospital had done some tests and there were concerns she was in a vegetative state but a professional came down from Oxford to assess her and confirmed it,” Nicole explained.
“We were told that we would have to either let Gemma be as she is, with a life expectancy of around five to ten years and 24-hour care, or to take off the nutrition and hydration so she could pass away in her own time.
“All of her brain has stopped working except for the parts that control her reflexes. All she would be able to ever do is breathe and open and shut her eyes.
“Every one of her family and friends knew that Gemma wouldn’t want to be looked after 24/7, being able to sit there with her kids but not being able to hold them.
“She wouldn’t want to be in a position, and we thought that putting Gemma through that would only be for selfish reasons.”
The family has since been waiting for Gemma to move into a hospice where she will be able to pass away comfortably.
Gemma left hospital on Tuesday and was transferred to the hospice.
“It just depends how long it will take for Gemma to pass away,” Nicole says. “It could take three days, seven days, two weeks - it just depends.
“Because of her state in the brain, she can’t feel pain or anything so she won’t be uncomfortable when she goes.
“We’ve told the doctors to give her some pain killers just for our own peace of mind so that we know she’s not in pain.”
Her family said they want to focus on the ‘many brilliant’ aspects of Gemma and ensure her three children don’t ever go without.
A fundraiser has been set up to help cover the costs of Gemma’s funeral and to ensure her boys have a really special Christmas - their first one without their mum.
Writing on the page, Nicole said: “For anyone seeing this who did not know Gemma, she was full of life, always lit up the room when she walked in.
“She is the most amazing human I have ever met, I am blessed for life to be her little sister.”
You can donate to the fundraiser here.