A YOUNG mum suffering from cancer never fulfilled her dying wish to have her final moments at home.
On Friday, the Echo told how terminally ill Kelly Stoker, 27, was hoping to return to her Houghton home and her three little boys.
But just days later, she died at St Benedict’s Hospice, Monkwearmouth.
Though she never got to go home for one last time, her family have found comfort that they were with her when she died.
Dad Alan Stoker, 48, from Fence Houses, said: “She had a sleepover at the hospice on Saturday night with some of her friends and when she got up on the Sunday morning, she said she felt really poorly. She went to sleep that afternoon and never really woke up.
“We stopped with her on the Sunday night, and me and her partner Liam held her hand as she took her final breath.”
Kelly, who lived with Liam Wood, 26, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in January and was treated with a six-week course of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy – internal radiation.
But it was unsuccessful in ridding her body of the disease, and just two weeks ago doctors broke the devastating news that the cancer had spread rapidly to her lungs and nothing could be done to save her life.
She spent her final weeks at the hospice where she looked forward to visits from her children Lewis, six, Clayton, three, and Reece, two.
Alan, who is married to April, said: “As soon as she had the kids, her life changed. She stopped going out. Everything she did was for the bairns.”
He added: “It’s such a shock to lose her so fast. When we found out it was terminal, we hoped we’d have at least six months with her. We never expected this.”
In her final weeks, Kelly organised a fund-raising night for Macmillan Cancer Support to say thank you to the nurses who had helped her through the trauma of the disease.
Such was the support she received from the community that on Saturday, she was able to present the charity with a cheque for £2,000, a legacy that will help cancer patients in the future.
“We would like to thank everyone who donated from Fence Houses and Houghton,” said Alan. “Kelly was over the moon with how much was raised.”
Paying tribute to Kelly, Sarah Goldie, Macmillan fund-raising manager for Wearside, South Tyneside and Gateshead, said: “We are really saddened to hear the news about Kelly. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this difficult time. We cannot thank them enough for their fund-raising and donation of £2,000. This will go a long way to help people affected by cancer.
“No one should face cancer alone. Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face. The Macmillan team are here to help support people affected by cancer, their family, friends and carers every step of the way.”
•Kelly’s funeral will take place on Monday, June 17, at 10.15am at St Michael and All Angels church, Houghton.
All are welcome at the church but the family have asked that only relatives attend Houghton Cemetery afterwards. They have also asked that, aside from family flowers, people can make a donation in lieu to Macmillan Cancer Support.