Community pays tribute to tragic South Shields dad Luke

Di and Luke Wilkinson with children Jude and Finn.
Di and Luke Wilkinson with children Jude and Finn.

Members of the community have come together to pay tribute to a South Tyneside man who died just weeks after being flown home for a liver transplant.

Father of two Luke Wilkinson, 37, originally from Marsden, South Shields, passed away at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle on Wednesday.

The engineering consultant collapsed while on holiday in Singapore with his wife Di, 34, and children Jude, five, and Finn, three, last month.

The family had moved to Kuala Lumpur when Luke took a job at an oil and gas company before he fell ill five months ago.

He had contracted several infections while abroad and was on medication to treat them. But he collapsed on holiday at the Siloso Beach Resort and was diagnosed with liver failure as a result of the medication he was receiving.

Luke was flown home to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and was thought to need a liver transplant urgently. But Professor Derek Manas, who is the consultant hepatobiliary and transplant surgeon, confirmed that it was not required.

The surgeon said Luke was suffering from a pre-existing medical condition which left him open to infections, and a virus had caused the liver problems.

Loved ones believed he was on the road to recovery.

Those who knew him have taken to Facebook to pay tribute to the popular dad.

Kerry Newman Elliott wrote: “So sad thinking of them all xxx”

Elaine Rutherford added: “RIP Luke. I only knew you from you coming in to where I work, but you were a lovely person.

“Thinking of all your family at this sad time x”

Jade Charlotte Benton said: “What a lovely man you were! My thought are with your family x”

Paul Dawson added: “RIP Luke Wilkinson. True gentleman, great friend.”

Jean Costello: “Heartbreaking. Deepest sympathy to all your family and friends xxx”