Family pays tribute to community support in 27-year-old’s memory
- Credit: Thomas family
The family of a North Wembley woman who passed away in her sleep have shared their thanks to the community for donating to a fundraiser in her name.
Alicia Thomas suffered a heart attack at just 27 years old on December 3.
A fundraiser set up by her sister-in-law, Sheena Thomas, in her memory nearly doubled its target of £5,000 for funeral costs, with 274 donors.
Sheena told the Times the support showed how well loved Alicia was by friends and colleagues.
“She was a really lovely person, she would always help other people before herself.
"At Christmas she'd always be the one cooking and making sure everything was organised.”
Brother Ange Thomas said: “I'm sure when she's looking down on us now, she's probably laughing away thinking we're overdoing everything, and she doesn't need all that attention.
“We are hugely thankful to everyone who contributed to the GoFundMe, or who shared a prayer.
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"It took so much pressure off the family and means so much.”
The extra money raised will go to support the Thomas family’s charity, Rainbow International, which supports women’s education and healthcare in their home country, the Congo – something Alicia was passionate about.
“One of her dreams was to go back to the Congo and set up a school,” Ange said. “There, it's always the oldest boy in the family who goes to school. She found that absurd, she always thought that everyone was equal.”
Alicia was highly academic, skipping two years at Fryant Primary School before going on to Kingsbury High School. She graduated with a masters’ degree in law from Westminster University and worked for wealth management company Rathbones.
She loved manga, playing netball and watching sports with her three sisters and two brothers.
A devout Christian, she listened to her pastor parents’ sermons every Sunday.
Ange and Sheena said it was a comfort to know that Alicia passed away peacefully and painlessly at the North Wembley family home. The family had shared a meal the night before and were able to pray together.
Ange said: “This year, hearing about all the people who lost their lives that can’t even have their loved ones beside them, can't see them, can't talk to them. At least we had that moment to say goodbye.
“We opened our house and told everybody to come and just show their support. People don't need to suffer alone - that’s what this has taught me and my family.”