Tributes have poured in this week for a young mother-of-two who was found dead in her Todmorden home by her three-year-old.
Devastated boyfriend, Ben Widdup, has described Steph Evans, 25, as a “happy, fun and outgoing” person “who would do anything for anyone”.
Miss Evans, who had an existing heart condition, went to bed on Sunday night complaining of pain in her shoulder.
The next morning, after Mr Widdup had left for work, she was found dead in bed by her three-year-old son Alfie-James.
Mr Widdup, 22, who works at Fielden Factors, Todmorden, said: “Steph was fine when I went to work at around 7am and then I got a phone call from my parents two hours later. Alfie usually opens the door for my mum and he said that day to my mum, ‘mummy won’t wake up’.
“My mum found her just lying there in bed and she knew what had happened.
“When I returned home I just collapsed outside, it was and still is so hard to believe. I didn’t think it could ever happen to us. It hasn’t hit me yet. I know it has happened but I think I am still in shock.
“Steph was happy, fun, outgoing and a genuinely nice person who would do anything for anyone, especially her kids.”
Although the two boys - Alfie-James and 18-month-old Leyton-Baylee - know that something is wrong, they don’t understand exactly what has happened, said Mr Widdup.
“It is like having two newborns again. They have been up through the night ever since. I don’t think they understand but they know something has happened. Alfie still thinks she is asleep,” he said.
Miss Evans’ family were told that she would not live past two-years-old and would never be able to have children.
Since Miss Evans died, friends and family in the Todmorden community have rallied together to help Ben, Alfie-James and Leyton-Baylee.
A fundraising page was set up in memory of Miss Evans, who had dilated cardiomyopathy - a disease in which the heart’s ability to pump blood around the body is decreased, and has raised more than £1,700 in less than a week. Mr Widdup, who met Miss Evans around five years ago, has been “overwhelmed” by the support and said: “Thank you to everyone that has helped us. It is incredible.”
A charity night will be held at the Todmorden Working Mens Social Club in memory of Miss Evans with Steve Dean performing on December 18, at 8.30pm. Tickets will be £3 and are available from Todmorden Social Club, Kafe Central and Vanessa Holmes. The fundraising website can be found at www.youcaring.com/memorial-fundraiser/in-memory-of-stephie-/268267. Details of the funeral are yet to be confirmed.