Northern Ireland news

Popular young mother-of-three dies a week after collapsing with rare infection

Emma Fenton (37), a mother-of-three from north Belfast who has died suddenly
Seanín Graham

A 37-YEAR-OLD mother-of-three from north Belfast has died suddenly within a week of contracting a rare blood-related illness.

Emma Fenton, from the Oldpark area, collapsed in work on Friday, September 21 and was treated in the Mater hospital before being transferred to the City hospital.

It is understood her condition deteriorated rapidly and she was transferred to an intensive care unit where she passed away on Friday of last week.

Her family were last night said to be "traumatised" by the tragedy.

She is survived by her partner Bernard and her children Edward, Caitlin and Tiernan, who are aged between six and 16.

Family friend Tony McQuillan, who is the director of the homeless charity Shelter NI where Ms Fenton's father Michael is vice chair, described her as a someone with "genuine community spirit".

"Emma would have done anything for anyone and was a great mother. She was incredibly popular and was always active in the community, someone with a true Christian spirit. It has been absolutely traumatic for the family, they are completely shocked," he said.

"Michael and Emma were very close, he was very devoted to her. Emma's mother Kathleen died two years ago and it was a huge loss. He told me his heart is broken."

Ms Fenton is also survived by her three brothers, Michael, Paul and Gavin.

Her funeral will take place today, with Requiem Mass in Sacred Heart Church at 10am.

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