Mother returning to UK for good from Hong Kong dies mid-flight in front of her family - GulfToday

Mother returning to UK for good from Hong Kong dies mid-flight in front of her family


Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Expatriates in a lot of countries must be looking forward to meeting their loved ones whenever they go on vacation to their homeland. It is like a rare celebration. The happiness is all the more doubled when the expat winds up his or her stay here and returns home for good.

But, fate can sometimes totally disrupt major plans.

A British woman returning to the UK for good after spending more than a decade in Hong Kong was denied a joyous homecoming: she died mid-flight in front of her children.

It’s something no husband, son or daughter would like to face. The mother of two, Helen Rhodes, was eagerly looking forward to landing in her home country after a 15-year “adventure” in the Far East.


Young Gaza artist was among those killed in Israeli strikes

Fresh fears after Facebook's role in US abortion case

Within a few hours into the flight, which is typically over 13 hours, Rhodes became motionless and unresponsive.  Efforts were made to resuscitate her but in vain. She is believed to have died in her sleep. This came as a rude shock to her husband Simon, son Nathan and daughter Emma who were travelling with her.

What was more heart-wrenching was that for the remaining eight hours of the flight, Rhodes’ children sat next to their mum in a “breathless sleep” until they landed in Frankfurt, according to the Independent.

It was like a night without end for the family members, who were very devastated by her sudden death. But, according to a friend, there was some relief as the family had all the time to say what they needed to tell her.

When they arrived in Frankfurt, Rhodes’ body remained in the German city, as per the protocol, while her family returned to the UK.

Rhodes was bubbling with excitement over the return trip. She was eager to start a new phase of her life in her home country. She was particularly keen on meeting her ageing parents whom she had not seen since the coronavirus pandemic began. Sadly, the reunion never took place.

She was a rare gem and considered the “glue that held the family together."

While living in Hong Kong's Tung Chung area, Rhodes was the life of the community and extremely popular. 

She was a key member of a local motherhood group and was the go-to reference point for any medical issues.


Related articles