A mother-of-one waiting on a liver transplant passed away during a camping holiday in Devon, in her favourite place, over the weekend.
Hayley Thompson, from Burnage – who was celebrating her 36th birthday with her family and partner, Adam Woodhall – collapsed and died in her tent not long after opening her birthday presents.
Having suffered three seizures caused by a ruptured spleen, there was nothing paramedics could do for Hayley.
She was pronounced dead inside her tent at Ladram Bay Holiday Park.
‘She wasn’t breathing when they got there,’ her sister, Liah Thompson, said. ‘Her spleen ruptured and caused internal bleeding – that’s what caused the seizure.’
‘My sister phoned me at 5am and I just broke down,’ she continues.
‘I was hysterical when I first got that phone call; I was screaming and shouting because I just couldn’t believe it.’
Hayley, who was a mum to 18-year-old daughter, Ciana, had been unwell since 2016, when she began to throw up blood.
Doctors found scarring on her liver, but there were no signs as to what was causing it.
Following several hospital visits, it was determined that Hayley should be placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant – but she hadn’t told her family that, without a transplant, her condition was fatal.
Although she was called for two liver transplants, neither of them were the right size, leading to her feeling ‘disappointed’.
Due to being let down several times, her family say she just wanted to ‘enjoy her life to the max’.
‘For the past two years she was with her partner, she was just really enjoying life,’ 34-year-old Liah says, adding that her confidence had improved over the last few years, too.
She says Hayley ‘downplayed her condition’ because she wanted to live her life.
‘We all knew she was poorly and knew she needed a transplant but we didn’t think it was needed as soon as it was.’ Liah says. ‘I think she downplayed it a lot; I think she wanted to live her life because she had been called for transplants before and was disappointed.
She adds: ‘She just wanted to enjoy herself and I think that’s what sits well with me, that she was happy.’
A ‘heartbreaking’ TikTok video Hayley had made just months before her death confirms her approach to life.
‘After it all happened, we found a TikTok video saying “If I die young, just know I was happy”,’ Liah says.
‘I know it’s a bit of a trend, but my sister was really thinking that.
‘Hayley was such a lovely woman with a big heart who would go out of her way to help you whenever she could.’
Now, Hayley’s family are hoping to raise funds via Go Fund Me to pay a funeral director to bring Hayley home to Manchester, as her body is currently still in Devon.
The money will also go towards funding her funeral and giving Hayley the ‘send off she deserves’
‘It’s been crazy; it’s been like a rollercoaster,’ says Liah.
‘I’m still trying to get my head around it.
‘Because she’s passed away and she’s all the way in Devon, we just want her home.
‘I just want to lay her to rest as soon as possible. It breaks my heart.’
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