THE family of a former Pembrokeshire resident are rallying to try and bring their loved one back to the county for a funeral ‘she would have wanted’ following her sudden death last week.
Mandi Williams, 42, may have moved to Bognor Regis in West Sussex three years ago but her heart – and much of her family- remained in Pembrokeshire.
The popular mother of three took her own life on Monday, January 6 after suffering the debilitating effects of Fibermyosis (also called fibrositis or fibromyositis) a syndrome that causes chronic, sometimes weakening, muscle pain and fatigue for many years.
The family now face significant costs to bring Mandi’s body some 300 miles home for her funeral with the price for transportation estimated at around £1,000, before the inclusion of any other funeral costs.
Despite her problems, Mandi was known for her bubbly personality and her tireless work for charity both in Pembrokeshire and Bognor, where she had moved with her two sons and her daughter for a fresh start.
Mandi, originally from Hayscastle, lived in Pembroke Dock before the move and worked at the local school.
Her sister Christine Chave, of Haverfordwest, said: “Mandi was bubbly and outgoing. She was very caring and would do anything for anybody. She was happy and fun loving, she always wanted to give something back. The pain she was in, she was so brave and she still managed to do things for charity. She was really well thought of.
“Price would no object if we had the money but we know she wanted to come home.”
Mandi’s youngest son is just 14 and following her funeral and cremation her ashes will be taken back to Bognor Regis for a memorial to be set up there where he can still feel close to his mother.
Her oldest son, Kyle, who just turned 23 and works at Butlins, is bravely taking on the role of head of the family said Christine, who was extremely close to her older sister.
Christine’s husband John added: “She touched a lot of people’s hearts. We want to say thank you to all the people who have sent wishes, it’s been touching.”
Mandi’s charity work included sleeping rough to raise money for a charity supporting homeless soldiers, working with the Wonder Girls, a fundraising group near her home as well as a weekly stint at the town’s soup kitchen.
Kyle added: “She had a kind heart and always gave to others before she thought of herself. Every Wednesday she used to cook food for the homeless soldiers, last year she held a new year’s swim for them and slept out in Brighton. She did a lot.
“She thought about everyone else before she thought about herself. She used to skip meals to make sure there was enough for the kids.”
Anyone who would like to help Mandi’s family bring her home for her funeral can contact Christine via Facebook, search for Chrissie Chave.