A DEVASTATED fiancée today spoke of her search for answers after her partner died suddenly at their home.
Christopher Britton, 30, was discovered slumped at the bottom of the stairs by the love of his life, Danielle Jones.
The pair, who got engaged earlier this year after Christopher popped the question on a trip to Abu Dhabi, were planning to tie the knot within the next couple of years.
Now Danielle is trying to come to terms with the fact she has lost her soulmate.
It is thought Christopher, who had recently started a job as a supervisor at Fergusons Transport after being headhunted, may have died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.
Danielle, a care worker, told how she had been out for meal in the night of Saturday, October 12, before returning to their South Hylton home.
She woke at about 6am the next morning and noticed Christopher’s body at the bottom of the stairs.
“He was on the phone to a friend that night and told her he felt sick, which was unusual for him,” said Danielle. “Maybe he felt dizzy and decided to sit down – we don’t really know.
“And Chris wasn’t the quietest of people, so I would have heard if he had fallen down the stairs.”
An emotional Danielle recalled the moment she realised Christopher had died.
“To be honest, when I saw him I knew he had gone,” said the 26-year-old. “While I was waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I knew.
“His hands were stone cold. I’ve seen people like that in my job, and I knew.”
Christopher and Danielle, who knew each other as children, had been together for 10 years after growing up together in Silksworth.
“There was almost five years between us, but it was never any problem,” said Danielle.
“It probably seemed a big gap to some people, but really, I was too old for my age and Chris was like Peter Pan.”
Christopher’s funeral, held at Sunderland Crematorium last month, saw scores of his friends turn out to give him a fitting send-off. “We had a humanist service and it was more a of a celebration of his life,” said Danielle.
Christopher’s aunt Mavis Cogdon, 67, added: “We were amazed at how many came. It blew me away when I saw all those people. It just shows you how popular he was.”
Computers, cars and cameras were all passions of Christopher’s, and he never had a day off sick from work, according to mum Carol Forsyth, 53.
The family are now awaiting details of post-mortem examination and toxicology reports to find out how Christopher, a former Farringdon School pupil, died.
“We haven’t got answers yet,” added Mavis. “The pain is still very raw and we hope to find out soon.”
Andrew Muxworthy, HR manager at Fergusons, said: “Chris’s death is a very tragic set of circumstances and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”