Shattered mom of chopper crash victim Vanessa Tadros collapses at daughter's funeral, held up by mourners

Shattered mom of chopper crash victim Vanessa Tadros collapses at daughter's funeral, held up by mourners
Rita Jaja couldn't stop her tears as she bid a final farewell to her daughter Vanessa Tadros (YouTube/7News Australia, GoFundMe)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: A heartbroken mother collapsed at her daughter's funeral and had to be helped by mourners just days after a tragic helicopter crash

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Rita Jaja was overwhelmed with grief as her beloved daughter Vanessa Tadros was bid farewell by friends and family at St John The Beloved Church at Mt Druitt, Sydney on Monday, January 16. The 36-year-old died in a horrific crash on January 2 along with three other victims, including Ron and Diane Hughes, who were reportedly on honeymoon from the UK when their flight turned into a tragedy. Ashley Jenkinson, the chief pilot of the chopper, also lost his life in the crash.

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The sendoff was organized inside the church, which was decorated with large white floral bouquets as the white coffin sat at the center of the service. Vanessa's husband Simon was seen kissing his wife's coffin before it was taken inside the church. He flew back from their son's hospital bedside in Queensland for the ceremony. 10-year-old Nicholas somehow managed to survive the crash with major injuries and has now come off life support. Simon called his wife his "beautiful rose" through tears, thanking well-wishers for attending the Maronite ceremony. "To my beautiful wife, I will always love you, no matter what," he said, adding, "I know you will always be with me and Nicholas. Rest in peace beautiful."

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The family was reportedly visiting the Gold Coast on holiday when the fatal crash occurred. Simon said his son has undergone five operations over six hours for surgery on broken bones in both legs and his left hand. "Nicky has been off life support now for a few days and his body has responded very well, still on the ventilator machine to support his breathing," the devastated father and husband revealed on Facebook. "They have lowered his sedation medicine at times to see if he is responsive and he has woken up and able to respond to some questions with a nod or shake of the head. He is also able to hold my hand but still no movement in his legs yet but have been advised that could be due to the broken bones in both his legs. Due to the pain and distress and anxiety levels they have had to sedate him again for now. He has a couple of surgeries next week. One on Tuesday and a major operation on his right ankle on Friday, so pray that all goes well."

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At least 200 mourners formed a human chain on Sunday, January 15, near the crash site as part of a vigil for those affected by the fatal incident. The ceremony was held at Broadwater Parklands, where the four lost their lives when their flight from the popular Queensland theme park went awry. Local resident Chantal Clarke organized the vigil as a tribute to the victims so that mourners can begin healing after the tragedy.

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Those who attended were invited to join hands in a "chain of support" for those who lost their lives, as well as survivors, and their families. "Our city is known as being the place of dreams, the place of holidays, not the place of death," Chantal told NCA NewsWire. "I felt it was very important that people came together, acknowledged it and showed support for each other and for the families." The organizer thanked everyone who had supported the community and the victims in the wake of the crash, especially the Kombumerri traditional owners. Justine Dillon, a representative of the Kombumerri community, led the Sunday vigil. "We all felt it, we all got really sad feeling such a tragedy on our country," she told NCA NewsWire, adding, "We're very connected so we can feel the country's hurting and the people, the community. And we need community to help us, so we're here for them."

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