A British mum died in her husband’s arms on a dream holiday in the US after complaining of feeling tired.
Zoe Williams, 42, assumed she was suffering a relapse of an auto-immune condition after collapsing in a San Francisco hotel.
She and husband Jason, 45, from Caerphilly in South Wales, had flown to America for 11-year-old son Hayden’s half-term break, and they set about enjoying tourist activities in the city.
“We flew over to San Francisco for a dream holiday. We arrived at our hotel around tea time and she was fine,” Jason told Wales News.
“We were excited making plans for the following day to go and watch the San Francisco 49ers American football team.”
But the following day, Zoe suddenly fell ill.
The mum thought she was suffering from Guillain-Barré syndrome, an auto-immune condition which she’d previously had 20 years earlier.
Symptoms include muscle weakness, pain, and problems with balance and co-ordination.
However, unbeknown to Zoe, she was suffering from an undiagnosed fatal blood clot, which had been getting progressively worse after the family flew from the UK.
“We all left the hotel room and she walked 20 to 30 yards and collapsed,” Jason explained.
“(Zoe) said she just felt tired and told us to go on and she would just stay back at the hotel to sleep, but she seemed fine in herself.”
Zoe went to the doctors and began treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome – thinking she had suffered a relapse – but her condition deteriorated further.
“Zoe said she didn’t want us to take her to hospital in San Francisco because she trusted her doctors in Heath Hospital in Cardiff and promised she would go straight there when we got home,” Jason added.
The family was due to fly back on Saturday, November 2, and Zoe used a wheelchair while waiting to board at San Francisco International Airport.
“We got on the plane. It was warm and our seats were right at the back,” Jason said.
“She started to lose consciousness and the airport medical centre advised us not to fly.
“They said we needed to get Zoe seen by a doctor again before they could be sure she was safe to fly home, but the doctors was closed until Monday.”
The family were put up in the Grand Hyatt hotel and Zoe was given a wheelchair and a disabled room as they waited for her health to improve.
However, there was a turn for the worse that night, and she deteriorated further.
“VERY SPECIAL WIFE”
Jason said that Zoe was “struggling to breathe and I called an ambulance, but she passed away in my arms before they arrived.”
Paying tribute to her, he said that his “very special” wife was known for her “infectious smile and she did everything for us and absolutely spoiled Hayden – everything he wanted was just an arms-length away.
“This has left a massive hole in our life and she never could be replaced.
“What I’m struggling to comprehend is why this had to happen to her.”
On an online memorial fund page, which has raised more than £14,000 ($AU25,990) to help Zoe’s family after her death, she is described as the “strongest, kindest, craziest, fun-loving soul”.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission