Tributes to 'devoted' mum-of-five who died of shock heart attack aged just 39
A fundraiser has been set up to help the family of a “devoted” 39-year-old mum who died of a heart attack on New Year's Day.
Cheryl Thornton, of Tyne Dock, was seeing in the new year with loved ones when she suddenly suffered a heart attack and collapsed.
She was rushed to the RVI hospital in Newcastle but tragically passed away in the early hours of January 1, 2020.
Mum to Chloe, 19, Kayleigh, 17, Taylor, 15, Joey, 11, and Vinnie, one, Cheryl’s family has described her as “one of a kind” - a stay-at-home-mum who was “devoted” to her children.
A JustGiving page has been set up to help the family financially.
Originally from Bromley in London, Cheryl had lived in the West End of Newcastle for more than a decade before the family moved to South Shields two years ago.
She was due to celebrate her 20th wedding anniversary with husband Tony Thornton, 41, later this year.
“It was a massive shock, it came completely out of nowhere,” said Cheryl’s nephew, Joshua Banyard.
“She had no symptoms, she was just a healthy, 39-year-old woman.
“My uncle has been in pieces. He still has bad days.”
Joshua, 33, who lives in Benton, Newcastle, says he and Cheryl grew up more like brother and sister.
“She was one of a kind, with a heart of gold and would go out of her way to help people,” he said.
A fundraiser set up by Cheryl’s best friend Jennifer Pitchford to help support the family and cover funeral costs, has so far raised more than £1,300.
“It shows how much she was loved and it’s a way to raise awareness of the need to get checked out,” said Joshua.
Cheryl’s funeral will take place in London on Friday, February 14.
“Tony always made a fuss about Valentine’s Day, he wanted this to be their last special day together,” Joshua added.
“It’s going to be a celebration of her life. She loved to sing and dance and just wanted to have a good time. She always acted like the youngest person in the world.”