Family bid to raise cash for headstone for their mum

RAISING CASH: Fund-raising for a headstone for their mum's grave are, left to right, Paul Wright, Rachael Wright, holding baby Lacey-Ann Steel, Michael Wright, Joseph Steel, and Ellie-Louise Steel. Below, mum Tracey Wright.
RAISING CASH: Fund-raising for a headstone for their mum's grave are, left to right, Paul Wright, Rachael Wright, holding baby Lacey-Ann Steel, Michael Wright, Joseph Steel, and Ellie-Louise Steel. Below, mum Tracey Wright.
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SIBLINGS devastated by the death of their mum at just 46 are appealing for help to create a memorial in her honour.

Tracey Wright died in her sleep at her Pennywell home in March after a three-year battle with lung disease COPD.

Tracey Wright

Tracey Wright

Despite her health problems, she was a dedicated mum to Stephen, 27, Rachael, 26, Michael, 24, and Paul, 22.

Now the brothers and sister are hoping to raise enough money to pay for a headstone for their mum, who was laid to rest at Bishopwearmouth Cemetery.

Paul said: “There was just us and mum, she raised us on her own, so there was no one to help after she died.

“She was a single mum, and a really good one. She was also a carer to my brother Michael who has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair.

“I managed to apply for a funeral fund when she died to help pay for the funeral, but we couldn’t afford a headstone.

“We want it inscribed with a special message from us, but it will cost around £3,500.”

Though Tracey had been in hospital for help with her breathing, her children had no idea that the condition would prove fatal.

Paul said: “She’d been in hospital the week before she died and was on a bypass machine to help with her breathing.

“There is no cure for COPD and it had been getting worse over the years. Towards the end she couldn’t even leave the house, as her breathing was so bad.

“When she was allowed home, she was on oxygen, but we had no idea this would happen.

“It was my brother’s fiancée who found her, which was really upsetting. But at least she died peacefully.

“The hospital said, after her death, that she had only 16 per cent lung capacity.

“One lung wasn’t working and in the other she only had a pin-prick hole through which to breathe.”

Paul and his siblings are arranging an event, which will take place at the Thorney Close Club, to help pay for a headstone for their mum’s grave.

“We’ve put pebbles around her grave, but it’s not the same. We want to do this in tribute to her,” said Paul.

“At the funeral, it was standing room only. She had a heart of gold. Not only was she our mam, but I have friends who called her mam too. She’s such a huge miss.”

The fundraising night for Tracey, who was also grandma to Ellie-Lousie, seven, Joseph, four, and Lacey, 14 weeks, will take place on Friday from 7pm, and the family is asking individuals or businesses if they can donate prizes for a raffle.

Tickets are £2. Anyone who would like to buy tickets or donate a prize can contact Paul on 07474 124 660.