Top NZ singer dies in mother’s arms

The Timaru Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

Singer Ali­cia Kirk­patrick died in the arms of her mother on Au­gust 28 af­ter suf­fer­ing an asthma at­tack.

Michelle Brown said Ali­cia and her three daugh­ters Maia, 11, Jaezahn, 9, and 16-mon­thold Coco had come to her house in Te Karaka, about 30km north­west of Gis­borne.

‘‘It just hap­pened so fast. We had din­ner. I sat down to have a talk. She got up and said: Mum, we’ve got to go. I knew her asthma had come on just like that. So we left. Two min­utes down the road I was do­ing CPR on her in the car. Her three girls were in the car,’’ Brown said.

She said an in­haler proved in­ef­fec­tive and Ali­cia ‘‘passed away in my arms’’.

Ali­cia’s fa­ther David said she had suf­fered from asthma from a young age.

She grew up per­form­ing in mul­ti­ple mu­sic com­pe­ti­tions, and be­came in­creas­ingly in­volved in the lo­cal mu­si­cal acts, shows and fes­ti­vals around the coun­try. She recorded her first al­bum in 1999.

She be­came the lead singer of Kiwi reg­gae band Foun­da­tion, and played along­side some of the coun­try’s big­gest reg­gae acts over the years. A dev­as­tated hus­band says he has no idea how his wife died at their Christchurch apart­ment.

Emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived at the Sel­wyn St home about 9.10am on Mon­day to find Tina Sharma, 28, dead in a hall­way, with her hus­band try­ing to re­sus­ci­tate her.

Po­lice were treat­ing Sharma’s death as ‘‘un­ex­plained’’, De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Greg Cot­tam said.

An au­topsy was car­ried out but the cause of death was ‘‘still un­de­ter­mined’’ and po­lice were wait­ing on other med­i­cal re­sults, Cot­tam said.

Sharma’s hus­band, who de­clined to be named, told Stuff on Thurs­day he did not know what caused his ‘‘amaz­ing’’ wife’s death.

He ar­rived home from work about 11pm on Sun­day and helped his wife cook. He then lis­tened to mu­sic while drink­ing beer as his wife lay on the couch. His wife even­tu­ally fell asleep.

He woke about 4am or 5am and tried to wake his wife up, but had no luck.

‘‘She was a deep sleeper, I didn’t want to in­ter­rupt her.’’ He tried again at 8.45am. ‘‘I thought she was just play­ing a game, she didn’t want to get up.’’

He de­cided to carry her down the stairs.

‘‘I just fum­bled on the last cou­ple of steps and she fell on the hall­way.

‘‘Then I looked at her face and her lips had gone blueish [and] her nails were blue.’’

The cou­ple, who have been to­gether for two years, mar­ried in Jan­uary this year.

Neigh­bours said they heard the cou­ple ar­gue for sev­eral hours on Mon­day morn­ing but the hus­band said that was not true. He be­lieved it was mu­sic that the neigh­bours heard.

Michelle Brown and her late daugh­ter Ali­cia Kirk­patrick.

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