She fell down the stairs & never woke up
Unthinkable tragedy as doting mum killed in freak accident
HELEN HE Arkadieff was simply on her way to bed. In an unimaginable tragedy the Brisbane B mother of two fell backwards as she climbed the stairs, causing head injuries that she never recovered from.
The accident has devastated her family who said she was “one of the smartest, strongest, beautiful, humble women to have graced this earth”.
IT was the freak accident that left two little boys without their adoring mum and a husband to mourn the love of his life.
It could have happened to anyone – all 38-year-old Brisbane mother Helen Arkadieff was doing was climbing a flight of stairs to go to bed.
Then, she lost her footing g and tumbled backwards. Helen never woke up. She suffered horrific head d injuries and spent five days in a coma before slipping away.
Now her husband Murray and sons Sammy, 5, and Jimmy, 3, are struggling to come to terms with the loss of an adored wife and a mother, who died on January 2 while on a trip to the UK.
Her little boys are left wondering why their beautiful mother will not make that return trip home to Brisbane.
Sammy starts school this year – a momentous occasion he will face without his mum.
Murray told The Sunday Mail his wife was “one of the smartest, strongest, beautiful, humble and patient women to have graced this earth”.
A lifelong commercial beekeeper, Murray met Helen (left) in a pub in Yorkshire 13 years ago while touring the world, learning his craft. They were married in i 2008 and Helen moved to Queensland, where the pair worked together on their beekeeping dream.
“It was a classic love story, English rose met rough Aussie beekeeper,” Murray said from the UK.
“She was smart and gorgeous ... I got lucky. Just like an instant … sliding doors.
“She came (to Australia), started from the bottom to support me in my dream and made her own way through the ranks with hard work and intelligence.”
He described his wife as an “adoring mother, adored wife and loved daughter”.
Helen was a respected medico-legal professional who worked at international law firm Ashurst Law, Murray said.
“She strongly believed in women’s rights and equality,” he said. “She loved life, a party, rugby and her family.
“She also loved her adopted homeland. Her passing is a tragedy for our family.
“I and the boys are just taking each day at a time.”
Murray said Helen’s final “unselfish” act was her decision to be an organ donor “so that the pain of the others would be lessened”.
Tributes say Helen was an amazing mother, working for hours to create ambitious cakes for her little men.
The family will bury Helen tomorrow in her hometown of Hurworth in England. Murray is a much respected beekeeper in southeast Queensland and his family has supplied honey to Capilano Honey for 50 years.
The company this week issued a statement of support for Murray and his boys.
In a Facebook post to their 50,000 followers, the company said: “We cannot imagine the devastation Murray and their two little boys have to face.
“Capilano have made a donation to the Arkadieff family to go towards assistance around the home and adjusting back into everyday life. We are calling on all of our followers to do the same and offer any support possible.”
Murray and Helen worked hard to save and build their family home in Brisbane. They had moved in just days before leaving for the UK.
Helen had not yet worked her magic to turn the house into a home. The yard is still a construction site, the windows have no blinds and there is minimal furniture.
As Helen and Murray’s sons are so young, the family is gathering precious memories on a tribute website and these will be printed in a book for them. “I loved the complexity of Helen, she was elegant and beautiful, yet effortless and carefree,’’ her sister-in-law posted.
“We need to furnish the house so it feels abundant, loved and like it can hold this grieving family if they just want to shut the blinds and bunker in,” a message on tribute website said.
“She was organised but not obsessively ordered.
“She was super tall but always bent down to talk to little children.
“She was quiet but a fierce communicator. She was serious but equally loved a good joke and laugh.
“Most of all, I loved the way she looked at Murray, my brother, and her boys. She was content, proud of her family, sure and solid in who she was and what she loved.”
Another tribute says: “Mummy loves a cup of tea with a splash of milk and a hot long black!”
She was an ambitious baker, said another. “Not once did we hear Helen complain about being a mum and everything that goes with it.
“She was an ambitious baker ... and always looked at you with loving eyes. She had an amazing way of not sweating the small stuff in life.”
Murray said the family had been overwhelmed by the support from the community.
“Our family would also like to thank Ashurst Law for their incredible support to my family in helping bring Helen, I and the boys home,” he said. “I would like to thank Capilano Honey, the wider beekeeping community, family friends and strangers for their support.”
She loved life, a party, rugby and her family. She loved her adopted homeland. Her passing is a tragedy for our family. I and the boys are just taking each day at a time MURRAY ARKADIEFF
TRAGIC FALL: Helen Arkadieff with husband Murray and sons Sammy and Jimmy; (inset) the family at the airport before their UK trip.