A mother of three tragically collapsed and died while delivering a eulogy at her father-in-law’s funeral.
Sarah Healey, from Staines, Surrey, was just 39 years old and a mother of three.
She was also the daughter of two of Flintshire’s senior county councillors David and Gladys Healey.
Sarah, her grieving husband, James West, and their three children went to the funeral of her father-in-law when tragedy struck the family for a second time.
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Councillor Gladys Healey, chair of Flintshire Council, spoke to Leader Live about her daughter and how the devastating incident occurred in November 2023.
“Our daughter grew up in north Wales and went to Castell Alun High School as a student,” she shared.
Sarah’s mother disclosed that during the eulogy of Roy West, 81, the mum of three had a suspected cardiac arrest.
Healey continued: “Our family went down to the south of England for the funeral of the father of James which took place in Slough Crematorium.
“Sarah was one of those who spoke in tribute to the father of James.”
Devastatingly, this is when the tragedy occurred.
Sarah’s mother continued: “However, Sarah suddenly fell to the ground during her eulogy. It seems that Sarah had suffered an attack of arrhythmia or a cardiac arrest. She had no history of any heart trouble and we were all devastated by her sudden death.”
She added that it was ‘a terrible blow’ to the family.
Sarah was a registered nurse who had worked in the Accident and Emergency Department of Wrexham Maelor Hospital, before specialising in oncology.
She had then opened her own aesthetics clinic in Windsor.
Sarah was particularly well-loved by her siblings, with sister Trisha speaking out.
She calls the loss of Sarah the hardest thing she has ever experienced, adding: “I spoke to her daily and we had an extremely close bond that only sisters will experience.
“Life will never be the same but I find planning things with friends, talking and crying when you need to with no shame has helped.”
Wraysbury Parish Council paid a beautiful tribute to Sarah – lighting a beacon at an event to celebrate her life, proving how valued a member of the local community she truly was.
“It was a remarkable thing for a local council to do for one of its lost residents,” Sarah’s mum said. “I spoke at the event and told the 350 people gathered there to be strong for Sarah and to do what they believe in as she did.”