A HEARTBROKEN husband has spoken about the sudden death of his wife, whom he described as his best friend.
Emma Jeffrey, 37, died last Thursday after suffering a massive brain haemorrhage in the middle of the night.
The mother of three young girls – Charlotte, six, Eleanor, four, and Claudia, one – was rushed to hospital when husband Michael couldn’t wake her up in the early hours.
But attempts to save her failed.
Her death has rocked the Longframlington community where she lived and played a huge part in village life.
“Emma was full of energy, full of life, enthusiastic and talked to everyone,” Michael, 36, said.
“She would do anything for anyone. She was involved in so many groups and committees.
“She was also a brilliant mother and was always doing different things with the girls, painting, making things, entering competitions, making costumes, anything. She was very creative and it has certainly rubbed off on the children. They are always drawing pictures and all sorts of stuff.
“She just wanted to do things to develop them in a fun way.
“She was loving, caring, bossy and she would do anything for me. She was my best friend and we loved going on holidays and travelling, doing things together.”
Emma had been fit and healthy the night before she died.
But when Michael woke at 3am Emma was breathing strangely and he couldn’t wake her up.
“All of a sudden she stopped breathing,” he said.
“I couldn’t find a pulse. I phoned for an ambulance and gave her CPR until they arrived and took over.
“Between the house and the hospital she was back and gone again three or four times.
“When we got to hospital, they put her on heart and breathing machines and for about an hour they were all stable.”
Scans were taken but doctors couldn’t find any obvious sign of a problem. But Emma began to get worse and it was then that they realised she had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Michael added: “There was no way she would recover from it. It was just spontaneous. It’s been a massive shock to everyone. She was a very active person and she had no medical conditions.
“She will be badly missed by many people.”
Emma was a primary school teacher at Westfield School for Girls in Gosforth, and although she gave up work when Charlotte was born, she was due to return next year.
Michael and Emma were married for eight years and moved to Longframlington a month before they wed.
They met in Cramlington and were even childhood sweethearts when they were aged 10, before meeting again in their early 20s.
Since moving to the village, Emma played a big role in community life and was involved in numerous groups, clubs and committees. She also ran a toddlers’ group for a while.
She was on Longframlington Show committee, the church rooms group, running club, history society, book club and more.
Her latest fund-raising effort for the church rooms’ ‘turn a tenner’ project saw her make £180 from £10 by baking and selling cupcakes.
Longframlington Coun Trevor Thorne said: “Emma was the life and soul of the village. She participated in so many things and helped a lot of people.
“Obviously, as a mother she was very busy but she always found time to support village functions and organisations.
“She was a very, very nice person and she obviously enjoyed life so much. She will be sadly missed.”
David Carr, owner of the village shop, said: “Within a few minutes of meeting Emma, I knew she would be an asset to the village.
“She was such a bubbly, helpful person and always happy. She used to bring in cakes for the staff here and at the butcher’s. One morning when I was trapped in Longframlington, as I couldn’t get home to Rothbury because of the floods, she even brought me breakfast.
“She was so kind-hearted and her girls are lovely. We had good chats in the shop and she will definitely be missed.”
Emma also took her children to church every third Sunday to an event for families with young children.
Veronica Thomson, secretary of the show committee, added: “I just felt absolutely devastated when I heard. Emma was a person who was so full of life and so willing. She gave everybody so much.
“She was more than willing to help on the show committee and in everything else she did. I just wondered where she got the energy from.
“In church on Sunday, there was a very sombre service. Everybody felt quite choked.
“It is just unbelievable. I think there will be very few people who didn’t know of her or who wouldn’t be aware of her presence.”
Emma also leaves behind a brother Jonathan and mother Elizabeth.
A private cremation for Emma will take place tomorrow, followed by a service at St Mary’s Church in the village at 1.45pm.