Tragic deaths of Derry mums

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Two Derry families have been left heartbroken this Christmas after the sudden deaths of two devoted young mothers.

Angela Kavanagh and Helen Marie Toland - both 36 year-old mums of three - died in different areas of the city but in equally tragic circumstances.

Angela died at her home in Sandale Park on St Stephen’s Day after being unwell with flu symptoms for several days. Helen Marie Toland died in Altnagelvin Hospital on Saturday after being taken there by ambulance with suspected heart and lung complications.

It emerged last night that both women had worked together in the past in a Derry shirt factory.

Both families spoke to the ‘Journal’ about the devastating losses of their loved ones.

Angela’s husband Terry Kavanagh paid an emotional tribute to his late wife who was a “great mother” to her three children, two of whom have autism. “Angela was someone with a massive heart, she would do anything to help anyone who needed help. She tried hard for everybody, especially the children.”

He added: “Angela worked with Helen Marie in the Derry Central shirt factory at Springtown and when she heard that she had died at the weekend she said to me ‘it just shows us that nobody is invincible’.”

Helen Marie’s father, Billy Toland said losing his daughter was the most difficult experience of his life.

“When a mother dies you think it is the worst thing that can happen but when it is one of your own children then that is the worst thing in the world. Words just can’t explain it. You always hope to go before your children.”