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Mum-of-two teaching assistant, 28, dies of Covid after being found lifeless in bed as family pay tribute

THE family of a 28-year-old teaching assistant and mum who died of Covid are paying tribute after she was found lifeless in bed.

Noleen Thompson, from West Belfast, died days after testing positive for coronavirus, leaving her two children behind.

Noleen’s partner Martin found her unresponsive in bed on Wednesday, Belfast Live reported.

She leaves behind her two sons, five-year-old Jacob and eight-year-old Reece, as well as her mum and dad, Noreen and Paul, and her three siblings.

Her family is reportedly devastated, with Noleen’s death leaving a ‘huge hole’ in their lives. 

Noleen’s uncle Sean said her partner Martin had called the paramedics on Wednesday after finding his partner in bed, not breathing.

“Tragically, she passed away,” he said.

"It was a shock to everybody, she is only 28 with the most beautiful personality you ever come across in your life. 

“Her young partner Martin, he is only 26 and he is left with Reece, 8, and Jacob, 5, it is just heartbreaking for him.”

His niece had been strict with following Covid guidance, Sean said,  and did everything in her power to protect her family from the virus.

“She had posters for the NHS in the windows and things for the kids on the fridge about the covid invasion to make it light hearted for them so it won’t scare them,” he said.

"It is the two young boys I worry about the most, Reece will be old enough to remember his mum properly and Jacob is such a mummy's boy, he would have done anything to snuggle up beside her on her lap with a blanket round them.”

Sean described Noleen as being bubbly, compassionate, and always willing to do anything to help others.

She and Martin had begun doing up the house they shared, and had “so many plans”.

"She was the centre of our wee world, we called her the Queen,” he said.

He said Noleen was wise beyond her years, while being a “girly girl” who loved bright colours and getting dolled up.

She had been close with her sister Caitlin, he said, who had just given birth to her daughter, Ava.

Noleen was due to be her godmother and had been “so proud” of her new niece.

There had been an outpouring of grief among Noleen’s local community and the primary school where she worked – St Clare’s.

An online candle vigil was held for her at the local St Paul’s church on Thursday, and tribute paid to the beloved mum.

Sean said a funeral would take place in a couple of weeks. He hoped a lifting of Covid restrictions would allow for a family celebration on August 10, which would have been her birthday. 

“I don't think our families will ever get over the hole that Noleen has left in our lives,” he said.

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