A British mother of two suddenly died on a long-distance flight from Hong Kong to the UK after going into a “breathless sleep” in midair, according to a family source.
Helen Rhodes was only 46 years old.
According to her friend Jayne Jeje, Helen was discovered unresponsive in her seat on Friday, August 5, just a short while after her plane left the airport with her husband and children.
“This all unfolded in front of her children,” Jayne said in a GoFundMe for Helen’s family.
“For the remaining 8 hours of the flight, Helen lay in a breathless sleep in her seat. Although this was extremely traumatising to the family, they all had time to say what they needed to say to her. Needless to mention, they are devastated. This loss is unimaginable. Helen was a devoted wife and mother. She was the glue that held her family together,” wrote Jayne.
Helen’s body was left behind in Frankfurt upon arriving in Germany while her husband, Simon, and two children, Nathan and Emma, took a flight to the UK.
It would have been Helen’s first trip back to the UK to visit family since the pandemic started.
“Sadly, she never got to see them again,” wrote Jayne.
The United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office is “supporting the family of a British woman who died on a flight to Frankfurt and are in contact with the local authorities,” a representative for the agency told The Guardian in a statement.
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