Nuria’s devastated family and friends described her as a ‘fit and healthy’ 38-year-old and spoke about the ‘caring, lovely, funny’ woman they have lost
A ‘fit and healthy’ mum died a week after a positive Covid test.
Nuria Daniela Gomes discovered she had the virus at the beginning of this month but died just seven days later, leaving her daughters, Erica, 20, and Myra, 17, bereft.
Her devastated family and friends described her as a ‘fit and healthy’ 38-year-old and spoke about the ‘caring, lovely, funny’ woman they have lost.
Nuria’s friend, Mena Tando, 37, said the mum-of-three contacted her on December 3 and said she had Covid, ‘but there is no need to worry about it’.
Her daughters, Erica, 20, and Myra, 17 have been left bereft by her unexpected death which happened after she was admitted to hospital.
Mena told the Manchester Evening News : “She said ‘I have a cough, a little fatigue, but I am fine’ ”
She dropped shopping off at the doorstep and kept in touch for the next few days.
But by December 7 Mena, become concerned about her friend’s persistent cough and had a missed call at 1am.
When she rang back, Nuria’s daughter, Myra told her the mum had been taken to hospital.
By 2am on Friday December 9, Mena discovered Nuria, who lived in Liverpool, had died.
“It was a big shock for me, I had been speaking to her all week and to get a call to say she had passed away I just could not believe it,” Mena said.
Daughter Erica, 20, recalled the traumatic minutes when her mother’s health dramatically worsened.
“Mum didn’t want to sleep alone so we put a mattress in her room,” she said.
“We could hear she was struggling to breathe.
“I was panicking, but she said she was fine.
“When we switched the light on we saw her hands were purple, her lips were purple and her eyes looked huge.
“It was really disturbing.”
The two sisters called an ambulance and bravely performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but say she died before she made it to Whiston Hospital.
Erica says: “It was all happening so quickly.”
“I still have flashbacks and then I try to quickly forget.”
Myra, 17, says she and her sister prayed for their mother as she struggled.
“Ever since we were little my mum has been taking care of us on her own,” she said.
“She is all we had.
“She was so hard working, caring, lovely, funny, she brought us up with respect and taught us everything we know.
“We were really close.
“She always heard us when we wanted to talk.
“She taught us to be grateful for everything we had.
“She always helped everyone she met and was the genuine soul anyone could ever meet.
“Everything I am is because of her.
“She impacted my life in a way no-one else could.”
Their mother’s closest friend, Elizabeth Neto, 35, a foster carer and administration officer from Salford, said they are all “massively shocked” and left trying to come to terms with what has happened.
“It’s surreal, its unbelievable, it’s a massive shock,” she said.
She remembers Nuria as ‘very open, very friendly, always smiling, always in a good mood’.
They had both moved to the UK from Angola, and bonded 17 years ago when a mutual friend introduced them.
When they both became mums, they shared that joy and, she says, were always part of each others’ milestone celebrations, although after Elizabeth moved to Manchester from Liverpool, lockdown meant they couldn’t meet as often as they had.
“We would be at weddings together, we shared celebrations,” Elizabeth said.
“I am trying to come to terms with it,” she said.
Nuria’s daughters, both students, say they now feel ‘completely lost’ as they try to cope with their grief, their father thousands of miles away in Angola.
“We don’t know how we are going to pay for the funeral costs and we are completely lost.” Myra said.
Elizabeth and a close family friend Mena have rallied around and Elizabeth has set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise funds for the funeral.
“I have known Nuria for 19 years, Mena added.
“We met in a hostel in Liverpool in 2003 and from there we became friends.
“She was so quiet, a kind and easy going person and was always there whenever you needed her.
“She was always available to help.
“The friendship grew stronger and stronger.
“I tried to persuade her to get vaccinated, but she was concerned.
“She had read things on social media about there being possible consequences in a couple of years.
“I am missing her a lot.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.