A heartbroken dad has told how he thought his new wife was 'joking' as she died in his arms in bed.
Jamie Sinclair told an inquest that his wife Gemma was making strange gargling noises as she lay next to him just before he was due to get up to go to work.
He presumed she was joking or dreaming and he even laughed. But the inquest heard that the tragic truth was that the mum-of-two was having a heart attack.
Just moments later, she was dead, a victim of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. The couple's then 12-year-old daughter desperately tried to perform CPR on her mum while Jamie called for an ambulance.
Jamie and their two children, Lauren, now 13, and Josh, 11, bid their final farewells to her just a month before they celebrated their first wedding anniversary.
Jamie said: "I remember the vows we said at our wedding, til death to us part was the last one we said- and it's been the first one to come true.
"It was time to get up for work and Gemma was making weird gurgling noises.
"She had her back to me and I was laughing at her, and saying 'Why are you making that noise?'
"I was tapping her shoulder, and I wasn't sure if she was joking or dreaming, until I turned to see her face and realised something was terribly wrong.
"She slipped away from me so quickly - one minute everything was perfect and the next she was gone."
The couple met as teenagers and had spent 12 years saving for their dream wedding before finally tying the knot at St Bartholomew's Church.
Gemma, a chef, had woken her husband with strange gurgling noises just before 6.30am when they were both in bed at their home.
Later, Jamie said: "I didn't get to say hello to her that day, let alone say goodbye.
"I'll always remember the vows we said at our wedding. 'Till death do us part' was the last one, and the first one to come true. "Nobody could have predicted that this was going to happen.
"Christmas was the worst because Gemma wasn't there and it was Lauren's birthday just five days later, the first without her mum.
"All the adverts on TV were about families hugging and it was very hard.
"She was so precious and her smile was infectious. She worked so hard in the cafe and was a great mother to our two children.
"Lauren is only 13 and Josh is 11 but they have both been my rock.
"They must have got their strength from Gemma because they have really supported me.
"I am heartbroken. I've lost my best friend and my soulmate."
Coroner Robin Balmain said her death was 'desperately sad', and recorded a verdict of natural causes.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more