Heartbroken Irish teen boys speak of devastation after parents die 19 days apart
The children of parents who died within 19 days of each other have spoken of their devastation at their loss.
Frankie Brown (46) died on May 5 after a short illness, followed 19 days later by his 48-year-old wife Donna, who passed away suddenly.
The couple left three children behind, Lucinda (23), 15-year-old Frankie Jr and Kyle (14).
Neighbours and friends in Monkstown on the outskirts of north Belfast have rallied round the grief-stricken children and have set up a fundraising page to help them out financially.
The children are now preparing to say their final farewell to their mother after saying goodbye to their father just a few weeks ago.
The two orphaned boys said they had been touched by the kindness of local people but were understandably inconsolable following their parents' passing.
"We have been hit with the biggest blow over the last three weeks," the boys said.
"On the 5th of May, we lost our daddy he was 46... and sadly 19 days later on the 24th we lost our beautiful mummy, she was only 48.
"We are absolutely devastated but overwhelmed too by the kindness and support from the local community. The months ahead will be tough."
Joanne McIlwaine, whose son goes to school with Kyle, helped set up the JustGiving page to help the family. She said the community was pulling together to do everything it could.
"We know money can never take away the pain and sadness the boys and their family are feeling, but we hope this shows them and their family that we are with them in their sadness and we are behind them every step of the way," she said.
"Everyone has suffered a loss in their lifetime and understands the enormity of what this young family are going through.
"Financial help is the one thing that we can all do in any small way possible.
"Everyone has dealt with grief in their lifetime, but twice at such an age is unimaginable.
"After spending time with the family, we can express their thanks and gratitude to everyone who has supported them these last few days and weeks. This has been a community effort, and I hope that I have expressed this well."
Joanne also revealed there had been donations from retailers including Tesco and local shops, as well as workers offering their wages and tips.
Last night, more than £1,500 had been raised.