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Tributes to Herne Bay mum Jasmine Donkin, 20, who died after complaining of tight chest

The heartbroken family of a 20-year-old mum who died hours after complaining of a tight chest say they feel "torn to shreds".

Jasmine Donkin had only given birth to her second child Callie-Grace weeks before suddenly collapsing at her flat in Herne Bay on New Year's Eve.

Partner Matt Cullen told KentOnline he had been planning to propose to his "amazing, selfless and beautiful" girlfriend. Picture: Matt Cullen
Partner Matt Cullen told KentOnline he had been planning to propose to his "amazing, selfless and beautiful" girlfriend. Picture: Matt Cullen

She died in hospital later that day - leaving her boyfriend, mum, grandparents and seven brothers and sisters devastated.

Partner Matt Cullen told KentOnline he had been planning to propose to his "amazing, selfless and beautiful" girlfriend.

The pair, who met at Chaucer Technology School in Canterbury, had been living together in a flat in Herne Bay with one-year-old son Storm and baby Callie-Grace.

Matt, who has now moved in with his parents in Whitstable, is dreading having to tell their children: "Mummy is not going to be around any more - but we are never going to forget her.”

The couple had woken up at 11am on December 31 when Jasmine came back into the room and laid on the bed complaining of restricted breathing.

Jasmine Donkin with her son, Storm, and her mum, Kim Connolly. Picture: Kim Connolly
Jasmine Donkin with her son, Storm, and her mum, Kim Connolly. Picture: Kim Connolly

Matt, 20, said: “She went and sat on the sofa - then she was really scared so I called an ambulance.

“They arrived 15 minutes later and she fell unconscious and had dilated pupils. Paramedics, an air ambulance and an off-duty anaesthetist arrived - they were really good.

“After about three hours of CPR she was stabilised and she was taken down the stairs.”

Jasmine was taken to QEQM Hospital in Margate where doctors worked hard to stabilise her for a CT scan and she was monitored in an intensive care unit.

The scans tragically revealed blood clots in Jasmine's lungs which had starved oxygen to her brain and her heart shut down.

Jasmine Donkin had only given birth to her second child Callie-Grace weeks before suddenly collapsing at her flat. Picture: Kim Connolly
Jasmine Donkin had only given birth to her second child Callie-Grace weeks before suddenly collapsing at her flat. Picture: Kim Connolly

Matt added: “Callie-Grace is still really unsettled as she hasn’t seen her mum in ages. She knows something is wrong.

“They are really too young to understand what has happened. Storm is not stupid - sooner or later I am going to have to explain the severity of what has happened."

Describing his partner of five years, he said: “She was amazing, selfless, always looked out for other people first and beautiful.

“I was going to propose to her this year.”

Matt was employed at the Hungry Horse in Swalecliffe and was due to start his new job as a chef at The Oyster Bed - but is struggling to get back to work because of the tragedy.

Jasmine Donkin and her family. Picture: Matt Cullen
Jasmine Donkin and her family. Picture: Matt Cullen

Jasmine’s mum, Kim Connolly, says she has been prescribed antidepressants since she lost her “rock” - and her other children are also struggling to cope with Jasmine's death.

Kim got the seven youngsters all together the following morning to break the news.

“We just had tears everywhere," she said. "Jasmine used to look after the kids and loved spending time with them.

"We have had great support from all my friends, family and the children’s schools.

"Jasmine had such good qualities - she never had a bad bone in her body.

Jasmine’s mum, Kim Connolly, says she has been prescribed antidepressants since she lost her “rock”. Picture: Kim Connolly
Jasmine’s mum, Kim Connolly, says she has been prescribed antidepressants since she lost her “rock”. Picture: Kim Connolly

"Some of the conversations we had were really hilarious. She was very outspoken and would say it how it is.

"I just feel I have lost my rock and she would always be there. Me and Jaz were as thick as thieves - we were on the phone everyday but I can’t do that now.

"I know she knew we all loved her; I told her everyday we loved her."

Jasmine's nan Denise Connolly described her as the "peacemaker in the family".

"If there was a dispute she would try and get everyone back together," Denise added. "She was such a character and so funny."

The East Kent Hospitals Trust says it is investigating Jasmine's “unexpected” death. Picture: Kim Connolly
The East Kent Hospitals Trust says it is investigating Jasmine's “unexpected” death. Picture: Kim Connolly

Grandad Paul Connolly said: "She used to light a room up. They say there is a bright side but I don’t see that at the moment.

"I feel someone has picked me up and torn me to shreds. I feel sorry for the paramedics because they tried so hard but it wasn’t meant to be.

"I can never think of her looking on the downside of anything - that’s what makes it worse."

Kim's ex-partner Louis Whyman, who was close to Jasmine, added: "She was always like a daughter to me. From being a taxi to being told what to do, we always had a good bond and I thought the world of her.

"I was always there for her and I will always be there for her kids to help keep her spirit alive."

Hospital investigating death

Jasmine had chest pains after Callie-Grace was delivered by c-section at the William Harvey two weeks before Christmas and raised concerns with doctors, according to her mum.

Kim believes her daughter should have been given more blood-thinning injections to help reduce the risk of blood clots.

“They gave her the stockings [to prevent blood clots] and gave her one injection,” she said.

The East Kent Hospitals Trust says it is investigating the “unexpected” death, but added: “Mums-to-be are cared for before, during and after birth with checks on mums’ health and wellbeing carried out in hospital before they can go home and checks provided by community midwives once they are home. The recommended treatment for women who have a planned caesarean section without complications does not involve an extended course of blood-thinning drugs.”

Jasmine’s boyfriend Matt set up a GoFundMe page for her funeral, which has raised more than £6,000. “This fundraiser is to ensure my gorgeous little Jasmine flower gets the send-off she most definitely deserves,” he wrote.

Click here to donate.

Read more: All the latest news from Whitstable

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

Read more: All the latest news from Herne Bay


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