Tragic Melissa Hamilton was just 34 when she gave birth to her third daughter Grace last September.
Melissa, from Killygordon, had been told just six days previously that she had breast cancer.
Doctors at Letterkenny General Hospital thought it best for Melissa to give birth to her baby after just 28 weeks.
Melissa had prepared herself to battle the cancer which had spread rapidly to her liver.
But just eight days later on September 8th, Melissa suddenly took a turn for the worst and passed away at the hospital.
Melissa’s heartbroken brother Garvan Connolly has revealed how her husband Seamus and three daughters Jessica (6), Darcy (2) and Grace (4 months) are still struggling to cope with their horrific loss at the family home in Killygordan.
“Melissa was just everything to Seamus and the girls. Anyone who met Melissa even once would remember her.
“She was bright and bubbly and got on with everyone both young and old.
“Even now it’s hard to believe she’s gone. You are expecting her to come through the door smiling as she always did,” said Garvan.
Garvan said Seamus and the extended family did have a quiet Christmas but had tried their best to make it a happy time for the children.
“It was very quiet but we tried our best to make it a nice time for the children.
“Afterall it’s about the children at Christmas and we tried to make it as happy as possible for them.
“The children are very young. Jessica is old enough to know what happened to her mummy and Darcy knows that Melissa is not around.
“They knows she’s gone but they still kiss her picture everyday and say hello to her. It’s just heartbreaking to watch them,” admitted Garvan.
Because of Melissa’s sudden death, husband Seamus has been forced to give up his job as a mechanic to look after his three daughters.
Now the local community has come together to support the family financially.
More than 500 people turned out for a function tonight at the Villa Rose in Ballybofey to raise money for the family and also to remember and celebrate Melissa’s short life.
“People have been terrific. Melissa’s wake and funeral was one of the biggest ever seen in Donegal.
“People have ben so good to us between calling to the house and making sure Seamus and the children are okay.
“It will be difficult for him and the girls when he closes his door at night.
“But I think that Seamus knows that we are here for him and will always be here for him,” said Garvan.
Melissa’s heartbroken husband Seamus said his wife’s death probably hasn’t him fully yet.
He said the most important thing for him now is to ensure the couple’s three daughters come first.
“It probably hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “It just seems like yesterday and people ask how I’m coping and that’s hard to answer. The worst is probably yet to come.”
Anybody who wishes to donate to the Melissa Hamilton Appeal Fund can do so at the Bank of Ireland at account number 93459581 sort code 90-47-12.
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