'Help us to bury Andrea': Family's plea after shock death of 20-year-old
THE family of a 20-year-old woman struck down with pneumonia are desperately trying to raise more than £4,000 to pay for her funeral.
Friends and family of Andrea Dursch are still struggling to come to terms with the shock death of the shop assistant just two weeks after she became unwell.
It is the second tragedy to hit brother, Mitch, aged 21, and 16-year-old sister Gina after their mother, Betty, died from bowel cancer four years ago at the age of 55.
Now the family are appealing for support as they try to raise enough money to pay for a funeral for Andrea, who had no life insurance.
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A charity night at Cobridge Community Centre held on Sunday night has already raised £1,700 towards the funeral.
Mitch, of Newcastle, said: "We're still in shock. Andrea didn't smoke and she didn't drink much.
"Sure she had the odd McDonald's now and again like anyone else, but she was 20 years old and fit and happy.
"She was always smiling. She got on with everyone and was a very good, pleasant person.
"She was the sort of person who if you felt down, she would cheer you up. We're getting together to discuss ideas for the funeral, but we want it to do her justice."
Andrea, who attended St Peter's High School, in Penkhull, worked at Scotts clothes shop in Hanley's Potteries Shopping Centre.
She had recently become engaged to fiance Chris Melia and they lived together in Abbotts Drive, Sneyd Green.
Chris, aged 23, said: "She was the best person I ever met, and that's why I got engaged to her.
"We were a very mature couple and we were very happy together."
Andrea died on August 25 at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. She had been in intensive care for two weeks after being taken ill suddenly.
Friend Prince Bwalya, aged 20, who attended this week's fund-raiser, said: "She was like a sister to me. She would be happy that we are trying to do this for her."
An undertaker today warned families often struggle to raise money for the funeral of a young person.
Paul Barrett, manager of Marsh & Son Funeral Directors in Newcastle, said: "We can be talking anything from £2,500 upto £6,000 for a funeral.
"I would say the average is around £3,500, but it depends on exactly what the family's requirements are.
"Unfortunately, for young people these days, it is already a struggle to buy a property and put food on the table – so life insurance is not something that takes priority."
Andrea also leaves behind uncle Stembridge, aged 40, and auntie Anita Banda, aged 35.
Anyone who would like to make a donation towards the funeral should call Mitch on 07866 256717.
To pay your respects to Andrea, email email@example.com.