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Fundraiser for devoted Gravesend mum who died on Christmas Eve following cancer battle


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Heartbroken family and friends have paid tribute to a devoted mum who died after being diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks previously.

Mother-of-four Sarah Mckeown was admitted to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford around three months ago after reporting difficulty breathing.

Sarah with sons Hunter and Leo. Photo: Laura Howard
Sarah with sons Hunter and Leo. Photo: Laura Howard

The 30-year-old had been to the doctors two days prior who prescribed antibiotics for a suspected chest infection.

But the nursery nurse from Gravesend deteriorated and was later diagnosed with leukaemia and underwent chemotherapy.

Sarah was transferred to King's College Hospital in London to explore other possible treatments but reportedly contracted Covid and sepsis shortly after and was placed on life support.

The young mum had hoped to spend one more Christmas with her children but died on Christmas Eve.

She leaves behind her partner Jason Chantler, 32, their daughters Olivia, four, Ava, two, and son Hunter who is 10 months. Sarah also has another son from a previous relationship, Leo, eight, who is now living with his father.

Sarah with son Leo, daughter Olivia, partner Jason and step son Liam. Photo: Laura Howard
Sarah with son Leo, daughter Olivia, partner Jason and step son Liam. Photo: Laura Howard

Following her death Sarah's friends and family paid tribute to her bravery in the face of her deteriorating condition.

One said: "So so heartbroken and devastated for you babies and family, rest in peace Sarah, sweet dreams, you and your babies are in my thoughts and prayers."

Jason's sister Laura Howard said: "Sarah loved her children more than anything else in the world and she called and video chatted with her children every single day she was in hospital.

"The last time her children spoke to her was December 15 due to her deteriorating condition."

She added: "Throughout the whole experience Sarah remained positive and showed no fear. She wasn't concerned about her own wellbeing, only that of her children.

'Her whole life was her family and anyone that met her could see the love she had for her children.'

"Her 30th birthday was spent in hospital and she never complained. All she wanted was to come home for Christmas but unfortunately she passed away on Christmas Eve."

Sarah was brought up in care and always wanted a big family of her own.

She loved being around children and later worked as a nursery nurse.

"Her whole life was her family and anyone that met her could see the love she had for her children," added Laura.

To add to the family's woes partner Jason was made redundant last year. He had been offered a new job just days before Sarah went into hospital but due to her condition and the need to care for the children was unable to start.

Laura has since set up a fundraiser to help support her brother and to cover the costs of Sarah's funeral which will take place later this month. It has amassed nearly £4,000 to date.

On the page, she posted: "My brother has done an amazing job over the past four months keeping everything together, especially on Christmas Day, when he had to hide his own grief so the children could enjoy their Christmas even though they didn’t know why they couldn't see or speak to their mum on Christmas Day.

"Everyone’s hearts were breaking for them and I just want to help make my brother and his children's lives a little easier."

She added: "We have been overwhelmed with the support and donations we have already received and would like to thank everyone. We truly are grateful."

Details of the fundraiser can be found here.

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