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The tragic story of how these Cornish children lost their dad

The tragic story of how these Cornish children lost their dad

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 1:06pm 23rd February 2018. (Updated at 7:22am 24th February 2018)

A grieving family from Cornwall is helping others in memory of their dad, who collapsed and died just before Christmas.

Vinny Leack was at home with his three young daughters in Roche when it happened.

They were all in front of the Christmas tree when he collapsed and died instantly of a thrombosis to the heart.

Now his children, Enor, 3, Merryn , 7, and Lowen, 10, are raising thousands of pounds for charity in hope to help families in a similar situation.

His partner of 17 years, Ruth Sawyer, says they have been pulling together as a family.

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She told Pirate FM: "I spoke to him at twenty to four in the evening and he was going to go to town to get some Christmas presents.

"But 45 minutes later, my eldest daughter, who is ten, called to tell me she was really worried about Daddy."

Paramedics were called but, unfortunately, he could not be saved.

Ruth said: "Obviously, it was a shock but my kids are amazing.

"The day after, they had their Christmas performance and they had come back a couple of weeks before and said they only had narrators parts - and we said, no, that's the best bit!

"So, the day after he passed away they said they wanted to go church to do their Christmas performance to make their daddy proud.

"So we all went to church and wore one of his jumpers."

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It didn't stop there - the children then designed a poster called 'Daddy's Hope' a week later.

And they decided instead of holding a wake, they wanted to hold a fundraising day.

Ruth said: "We wanted to do a two to three mile walk and do it at the Eden Project, because that was where we had been as a family so often.

"It just sort of grew.

"We have £2,000 on a JustGiving page already through donations at the church, friends, family - we've plastered it all over Facebook."

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Now they will be doing a three-mile fun run at the Eden Project on Saturday in aid of The British Heart Foundation.

They will also be releasing balloons with messages on, as well as holding massive banners and handing out whistles and medals to the kids and families that want to get involved.

Ruth said: "There's a silver lining to every cloud - even though he has passed away, there will be so many children there and adults alike that are going to get such a good feeling of selfless giving, there is no better feeling than that.

"If we can touch 20, 30, 40, 50 or 100 lives, where somebody may go on to help somebody else off the back of knowing what it feels like to make yourself feel good and help somebody...

"Like I say, there is a silver lining to every cloud, because those people wouldn't have been helped unless they came to the fun run and then went on to help other people."

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But Ruth stresses it is all down to their children and their bravery and determination to make a difference.

She said: "We have to follow their lead - because if they have got that love and that inspiration, why can't we have it too? Because the world would be a much better place."

But despite the difficult time of year, she adds that they will use Christmas to celebrate his life.

She said: "I told the children when our Christmas decorations go up on 1st December, we've got 31 beautiful days to remember your daddy and all the fun stuff that comes with Christmas.

"If we do it with love in our hearts and remember him... we're the lucky ones really because we've got so much time to remember him and it's all good times."

eden fundraiser

The family also plans to visit a hospice next year to visit those suffering with heart conditions.

The event will be held at the Eden Project, St Austell, from 9am-1pm on Saturday 24th February.

You can donate to the campaign here.

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