Get all your news in one place
100’s of premium titles. One news app. Zero ads. Just $10 per month.

'Wonderful' mum who died day after wedding 'left mark on every person' she met

Tributes have flooded in for a "wonderful" mum who died a day after her wedding.

Gemeila Howard, also known as Gemma, died on Saturday, April 23 at Willowbrook Hospice after a battle with cancer. The 39-year-old, from Huyton bravely shared her story with the ECHO back in 2019.

Gemeila was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and was set to undergo a major operation to help prolong her life. She was later diagnosed with a Krukenberg tumour - a rare and specific type of tumour that grows in the ovaries - and told she had three months left to live.

READ MORE: Woman rushed to hospital after fight between men outside bar

After she was given the devastating news, Gemeila decided to get married to her long term partner Antony Howard straight away. Since the ECHO published a previous article paying tribute to the 39-year-old, messages of support and other tributes have poured in.

Writing on the ECHO's Facebook page, Rebecca Evans said: "Met you through my gorgeous friend Clare Curran Dalton and I absolutely loved the story of how you two met. You were beautiful inside and out, literally life and soul of the party, especially taking all the spring rolls.

"I will miss you and cherish the memories I have of you and the photographs, you've broken so, so many hearts girl. Brian Leith added: "Loads of boss memories from the Vertex days, the parties in your house were the funniest. Such a lovely girl. Rest In Peace mate."

Michelle Kelly also said: "One of a kind, will always be admired." Jan Turner said: "Beautiful family inside and out such a brave strong person she fought all the way with her family by her side you will be sorely missed you’ll be the brightest star in the sky shining down on everyone."

(Family handout)

Their friend Sean Brien told the ECHO: "They got married on the Friday and she died on Saturday night. It was an amazing day it really was."

Sean and friend David McAleny walked Gemeila down the aisle and gave her away on her wedding day - in a moment which he described as "the biggest honour of my life." A fundraising page has now been set up to support Gemeila's husband Antony and their daughter Freya, aged nine, and help to give her "the best send off."

The family would like to thank the HoneyRose Foundation, based in St Helens, for helping to pull the wedding together so quickly to give Gemeila "the day she deserves."

Paying tribute to Gemeila, Sean said: "Mela was a life long friend who I will miss every second of every day. She was a wonderful mother and the light in so many people's lives.

"She left a mark on every person she met and we'll never be the same without her. All her family and friends, her husband Antony and her beautiful daughter Freya are heartbroken. She was loved by so many people."

Despite everything she was going through, Sean said Gemeila, who worked as a charity support worker, "was always there for everyone." She was keen to raise awareness of oesophageal cancer following her diagnosis by asking people to take oesophageal cancer awareness selfies to help highlight symptoms of the disease.

Sean said her husband Antony was always by Gemeila's side after she was diagnosed and he has "stayed so strong" through it all. If you would like to donate to the Just Giving Page click here.