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Christmas tragedy for Echuca family

John May and his two daughters, Emily, 11, and Makayla, 10, are still coming to terms with the sudden death of wife and mum Melissa just before Christmas, the result of a freak accident.

RENEE THOMPSON February 24, 2014 10:13am

The May family - from left, Makayla, John and Emily


Echuca's May family - from left, Makayla, John and Emily.
Melissa May
Melissa May
Melissa May
The night of December 17, 44-year-old mum of two Melissa May decided to wrap some of her children’s presents after the rest of the Stokes St family went to bed.
 
After climbing onto a chair to retrieve the gifts from their hiding place, she lost her balance and fell, fatally striking her head.
 
John discovered her body when he woke up some time later.
 
‘‘I saw her at about 12 o’clock as I was going to bed and she was going to wrap some presents.
 
‘‘Then I came out about one o’clock and she was just laying here,’’ he said.
 
He said neighbours had rallied around the family at Christmas to show their support after hearing the shocking news.
 
‘‘There’s some good people who have helped out,’’ he said.
 
He said Melissa had been looking forward to Christmas.
 
When the Riv visited the family on Thursday, 10-year-old Makayla, nicknamed ‘Macca’, was happily playing on a pink iPad — an early Christmas present from Melissa.
 
‘‘The last thing Melissa bought them was the iPads for school, they were early Christmas presents,’’ John said. 
 
Neighbour Jean Magnuson said news of Melissa's death had been devastating for her and her husband, who had become close to the May family.
 
‘‘It will be extremely difficult for John to provide new uniforms and normal schooling expenses once (the girls) reach high school."
 
‘‘We’ve raised around $800 so far, but we’re seeking more support and funds.’’
 
Mrs Magnuson urged people in the community to help support the girls’ education by donating whatever they could.
 
‘‘I just want to be able to help educate these kids. That’s what Melissa would have wanted,’’ she said.
 
NB - The full version of this story is available in today's Riv.
 
A bank account has been established to support the May family. The Bendigo Bank account is under J May and J Magnuson, BSB: 633000, account number: 151197845. 
 
Secure donations can also be made at the Riverine Herald office, 270 Hare St, Echuca
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