A father of two young children aged nine and 12 died suddenly on Christmas Day after suffering a brain aneurysm.
Mark Cox, 38, didn’t drink or smoke and hadn’t shown any signs of illness. On Christmas Eve he and his wife, Tracey, 36, and their children – Lily, 12, and nine-year-old Connor – had worn matching festive pyjamas and were playing games as they looked forward to the day ahead.
But he woke around 6am on Christmas Day at his home in Tonteg, near Pontypridd, and told Tracey that he had a pain in his head.
She realised how serious it was and called an ambulance, administering CPR while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.
Mark, who worked as a completions manager for a solicitors firm, was then rushed to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where he later died due to a brain aneurysm.
Tracey’s younger sister, Natalie Nash, told WalesOnline: “It was a complete shock. Mark was pretty healthy and never smoked or drank. It was completely out of the blue.”
Natalie, who lives in Caerleon, formed a bubble with the young family so she could spend Christmas Day with them and she said the children were trying to process what had happened while her sister was trying to remain strong for them.
“It’s just heart-breaking,” she said. “Mark was loved by so many people – he was so kind and caring and had so many friends.”
She has now launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for Tracey – who had been with Mark for 15 years and married to him for 10 years – and the children. Within hours, more than £1,200 had been raised towards the £5,000 target.
“It’s to cover any funeral costs or other bills. I just wanted to take away the financial burden. Tracey has been overwhelmed with the support and kindness she’s received from people and can’t thank them enough.”
Anyone who would like to support the family can visit the GoFundMe page here.