She fell down the stairs & never woke up

Un­think­able tragedy as dot­ing mum killed in freak ac­ci­dent

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - FRONT PAGE - EX­CLU­SIVE EX ALEXAN­DRIA AL UTTING

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.

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