A devastated husband has paid tribute to his wife after the 39-year-old Sydney mum died in her sleep just hours after testing positive for Covid-19.
Melanie Leffler, a healthcare worker, took a RAT test after coming down with a “runny nose and slightly sore throat” on November 19, her family has revealed.
Despite her symptoms, the mum of two daughters — aged four and nine months — appeared to be feeling alright before heading to bed. Tragically she died later that night, leaving her family heartbroken.
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have to announce to you this way though social media but my loving wife and the mother of two beautiful children, Mel Leffler, sadly passed away in her sleep this morning,” her husband Mick Hogan posted on Facebook the next morning.
“She tested positive for Covid last night with a RAT test, but only had a runny nose and slightly sore throat. Other than that she was feeling fine.”
While Ms Leffler’s cause of death has not yet been confirmed, her brother Kris Leffler told 7News the 39-year-old’s family believe it was heart-related. It has been widely documented that the virus can inflame the heart and cause blood clotting, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
The mum, who was fully vaccinated with four doses, was cautious when it came to limiting her exposure to Covid, Mr Leffler added, describing his sister as the most “hardest working, goal-oriented, and strong-willed woman”.
The mum was inspired to become a genetic counsellor after being diagnosed with Wilms’ tumour — a cancer of the kidneys that primarily affects kids — at the age of one, her brother revealed. “She suffered from the age of 12 months, which left her with only one kidney, followed by 18 months of chemotherapy, and achieved full remission by seven years old,” Mr Leffler told 7News.
Loved ones rally around dad, kids
Family members have created a GoFundMe to help raise money for Mr Hogan and his daughters as they grapple with their sudden loss.
“We are all very confused and saddened that such a young mother, daughter, sister, niece and friend's life has ended so tragically early,” the fundraiser reads.
“As we have had an overwhelming request on how best to support the family during this time, we have decided to set up this page to help financially support her wonderful husband, Mick, and two beautiful daughters, Clemmie (4 years old) and Lottie (9 months old). Mel's beautiful soul will forever live on in her two darling girls.”
The GoFundMe has so far raised over $26,000 and has been filled with tributes to the 39-year-old. “Such a smart, kind and warm person who always had a smile on her face,” one person wrote.
“Absolutely devastated to hear the news. Such a beautiful person. My heart is breaking for all the Leffler family, especially these two beautiful girls who have lost their mummy. Can’t imagine what you guys are going through,” another said.
Australia’s latest Covid wave shows no sign of ending, with more than 10,000 active cases recorded across the country in the last 24 hours.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.