A son has spoken of the traumatic moment he stood barefoot in the rain while his home was declared a crime scene after his mum died suddenly on their doorstep.
Paul Savage-Donovan, from Calder Road, Maidstone, had to wait several days to learn what had happened to his mum Theresa after the 56-year-old collapsed as she was picking up the morning milk delivery.
Paul, 33, said he was treated as if he was a suspect, adding: “It was the worst time of my life. We didn’t know if she had been attacked, murdered, or anything.”
It turned out the private care nurse had suffered a heart attack.
He said: “She went outside to get the milk and collapsed. I was sleeping upstairs and had no idea.
"Buffy, our seven-year-old Yorkshire Terrier was downstairs with her when she fell. She ran out, found one of our neighbours going to work and started barking to warn them.
“They then came over and started doing CPR on my mum while the ambulance was called.”
Paul says police arrived with a forensics team and initially had to presume her death was a crime scene.
He added: “I was just standing out there in the rain - it was horrible, I couldn’t even be with my mum.
“Me and my auntie had to wait out in the cold for two hours. I was numb to it all, I wasn’t even aware of the time that had passed.
“I was questioned at the scene, but all I wanted to do was to sit and be with her.”
Paul then had to wait for a post-mortem report, still unaware on what had happened to his mum.
“I just wanted to kill myself so I could be with my mum,” he said.
Theresa died on May 24 and Paul feels he could have been treated with more compassion when police initially arrived.
He added: “Once they realised I wasn’t a suspect, they were a lot more friendly towards me. I just felt like they were a bit harsh.”
District Commander for Maidstone, Ch Insp Gary Woodward said: “When our officers are called to an unexplained death, they are required to protect the scene while enquiries into the circumstances are completed for the Coroner.
“A close relative of the deceased, who was at the address, received sympathetic support from the officers who politely explained why they needed him to leave the premises whilst they completed their investigation.
“They offered to take him to another address or take a seat in a police vehicle but he declined.
"Once the death was declared to be non-suspicious, he was invited back into the house.
“The constables made further checks concerning his welfare before leaving him in the care of another relative.”
Restaurant manager Paul is now raising money for his mum’s funeral, as she died with no life insurance and owing £15,000 of debt.
Paying tribute he said: “You would enter the room and know she was there, my mum was one of those people.
'My mum was my best friend and my hero'
“She was really bubbly and happy. My mum was my best friend and my hero - she’d spent her whole life making sure that I had a good life as well.
“I’m very proud of my mum, and I’m trying to fight to give her the best send off I can."
He has so far raised more than £1,000 of the £6,000 target, with many of the donations from strangers.You can donate to Paul's GoFundMe page here.
Paul says the response has made him “feel proud to be British”.
A memorial service for Theresa is being held in St Francis Church, Maidstone, on Monday, July 11.