Tragic mum funds her own funeral

A 39-year-old mum of three with a terminal heart condition is fundraising to pay towards the cost of her own funeral.

Thursday, 17th August 2017, 3:14 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:28 pm
Naomi Betts (right) and best friend Jackie Illingworth - Pictures thanks to Nottingham Post

Naomi Betts, 39, who is originally from Hucknall and now lives in Sutton, was born with congenital heart block, which causes the heart to beat more slowly.

Her condition led to her slipping into a coma four times last year, for periods of between two weeks and four months. She is now receiving ‘end of life care’ at Kings Mill Hospital.

She hopes to raise £1,000 for her funeral by holding a charity ‘lip sync battle’, so that her children have the funds to give her a more personal farewell.

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Miss Betts said: “I am trying to help them for when I am not here anymore. I don’t want to leave them but I have no choice.

“You just try and do the best you can, it is hard fundraising for your own funeral but I do not want to be the cause of pain for them. It’s not me that I feel sorry for, it is the people I am leaving behind.”

She had to leave her job as a carer for health reasons in 2012, and although the her benefits will cover the cost of her funeral she wants her children to be able to spend money on things like flowers.

Her own mother died of the same condition when Naomi was 33 and this experience is one of the reasons why she wants to help her children, Tia Louise, 20, Deon Luke, 14, and Kaiden Lee, 11.

Her heart operates at only 14 or 15 percent capacity which makes her tired and means she requires a wheelchair and frequent treatment at King’s Mill and the QMC.

Miss Betts said: “The doctors are amazed I’m still here. They think it is my determination that keeps me going.” Naomi’s best friend Jacqueline Illingworth and her fiancé Simon Gunn, both of Hucknall, are hosting the charity event at Papplewick Hall on August 26. Tickets cost £5.

Jacqueline said: “She is an inspiration to everyone. She has fought and fought, she does everything she can for her kids. Although we’re raising money for a funeral we just thought why not make Naomi remember it and have a laugh and a joke rather than being glum.”

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Story thanks to Nottingham Post