Boy, 7, wakes to find grandma dead after they huddled together in freezing cold home

Gina Fitzgerald died from issues with her heart, but the circumstances she was found in at her home in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, have left her heartbroken family traumatised

Gina Fitzgerald was tragically found dead by her young grandson after they being forced to huddle together to sleep in their freezing home
Gina Fitzgerald was tragically found dead by her young grandson after they being forced to huddle together to sleep in their freezing home

A seven-year-old boy with autism awoke to find his beloved grandma dead after the pair huddled together for warmth in their freezing cold home.

Gina Fitzgerald’s death was caused by heart problems and the cold conditions were not a factor in her passing.

But the circumstances she was found in have traumatised her grieving family, Coventry Live reports.

The boy, who turns eight this week, found his nan had passed away after waking up next to her at their home in Camp HIll, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, last week.

The night before Gina had huddled close to her grandson to keep away the cold after being left without suitable heating at their house.

Gina’s family say they had been left without a working boiler for months.

But Bromford Housing claims temporary heating had been provided while they were trying to arrange a fix for the broken boiler.

Speaking to Coventry Live, a family friend said all they received were three small heaters which the Fitzgeralds said they could not afford to run all night.

The family’s home is in Camp Hill, Nuneaton

They also feared for their safety if the electrical devices were left on from bedtime until the morning.

The friend, who didn’t want to be named, told CoventryLive that while the cold conditions did not contribute to the death of the much-loved community member, who died from a heart condition, they said the situation they have been forced to live in has added to the family’s trauma, especially that of the boy.

In fact, the heartache has been made worse for the little boy, who has autism, turned eight this week – without his beloved grandma being there.

“Whilst there is no evidence to prove the cold is the reason for sad passing it clearly would not have helped her when she was suffering with a heart condition,” the family friend said.

“On the morning of December 2, her grandson woke next to her, and was unable to wake her.”

The circumstances Gina was found in have traumatised her grieving family

Having autism, this must have been the most traumatic experience.

“When friends came in to help the family during the shock we were told the house was freezing we were shivering. Gina was found wrapped in blankets just trying to keep warm, when the ambulance crew arrived they tried to revive her but she had gone.

“The family are left in utter grief and dismay, Gina was the main support for this vulnerable family.”

Friends and the Camp Hill community have rallied around the family at their time of huge loss and have launched a fund-raising appeal in her name.

Camp Hill-based charity, The Guardians Grow Charity, are spearheading the funeral and send off they say she deserves.

Money raised will also be donated to the family, who the charity says will struggle without their matriarch.

So far, the fund has raised just over £500 in a matter of days, but they hope to double it to help the family as much as they can.

Bromford has said that the family reported issues with the boiler last month and they had planned to carry out the works last week.

A spokesperson offered their condolences to the family, and said they will work with them to fix the heating, having provided temporary heating in the meantime.

In a statement, Natalie Robertson, Bromford’s associate director of localities, said: “We were deeply saddened to hear of Mrs Fitzgerald’s death and have offered her family our condolences at this difficult time.

“We carried out our annual safety inspection of the heating and hot water system at Mrs Fitzgerald’s property in June and found it to be in good working order.

“Mrs Fitzgerald contacted us in mid-November about a fault to her emersion heater affecting her heating and hot water, and we attended two days later to investigate and ordered the parts needed to complete the repair.

“We had scheduled for the repairs to be completed in early December and are now liaising with the family to rearrange this and have provided temporary heating in the meantime.”

The ‘Help give Gina a respectful funeral’ page is running on GoFundMe.

If you want to donate to the page, you can visit it online here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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