Family left devastated as woman, 24, dies just weeks after her mother died from lung cancer

Margaret, 24, died just weeks after she lost her mother Helen to lung cancer
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A woman who died suddenly in her sleep just weeks after her mother's death has been described by her family as “a quiet girl with a heart of gold and so much love to give”.

Margaret Whelan, who lived in Leith, Edinburgh, died on 21 April after a seven-year battle with Crohn’s disease. Her aunty, Michelle Callan, said she had been left devastated by her niece’s death.

The 24-year-old's passing came just weeks after her mother - and Michelle’s sister - Helen died of stage four lung cancer. The cancer had spread to 52-year-old Helen’s esophagus, meaning she couldn’t undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy. She died peacefully at around 4am on 25 March.

A version of this story originally appeared on our sister website Edinburgh Evening News. Michelle described Margaret as an “angel” who “put everyone over and above herself”. “She was a quiet girl that had a heart of gold, as well as so much love to give, especially her cats Tia and Roxy,” said the 43-year-old from Edinburgh.

“The love that she had to give was amazing, even by the hospital bed she was always buying gifts for my children. Her life was taken far too soon, she still had kids and marriage to go in her future, it’s so unbelievably unfair.”

She added that, despite living with Crohn’s disease for almost a decade and battling severe flare ups and long hospital stays, Margaret had “given up” following the death of her mother. She died just two days after Helen’s funeral was held.

Michelle explained: “Margaret was devastated when her mum died. I think she had enough fighting and was just waiting to watch her mum’s funeral so she could then pass peacefully." She added: “It was heartbreaking. Their mother and daughter relationship was amazing, they were always there for each other and giggling together. I am just happy that they are back together in peace.”

Michelle is now fundraising to help give Margaret “the send off she deserves”. She has set up a GoFundMe page which has raised more than £1,000. “I set up a fundraiser to help my nephew Michael cover the costs of both his mother and now Margaret’s funeral,” she said. “Michael's distraught and it's just after his mum's funeral, so I wanted to help raise some money for the funeral costs.”