Mum’s final wish before she died was for ‘kids not to be split up’

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The devastated family of a nursery nurse said her final wish before she was placed on a ventilator was for her children not to be split up.

Nicola Arslanian was only 46-years-old when she died on February 19 of Covid-19.

She was a nursery nurse at Playtots in Prescot and had lived in Knowsley all her life.

She had three daughters Aimee 24, Isabella 15, and Holly 12.

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Her dad, Anthony, described his daughter as a 'beautiful person' who everyone loved.

Nicola had collapsed with pneumonia a few weeks ago and was rushed to Aintree Hospital.

Her condition began to deteriorate and after trying various medications and oxygen the decision was made to put her on a ventilator and transfer her to the Royal Liverpool Hospital.

Anthony, 66, said: "She fought a good fight, I was with her with her daughter Aimee every day.

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"It was at 1.00am they called me and Aimee to say come down and said 'your daughter's stats are dropping'.

"Over a week she was slowly deteriorating and they were trying everything they could to keep her alive.

"The Royal were absolutely amazing, the doctors and the nurses, day and night somebody was with her.

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"We came down and sat with her every day and then on the last day she passed I was on my own with her.

"I watched her pass away.

"She didn't feel any pain, there was no pain in her face. She looked like an angel on the pillow to be honest with you.

"I know everyone says that but she really did."

He added: "They did everything they could for her but said they couldn't do any more. Her lungs had become brittle and scarred with the Covid."

Before Nicola was placed on a ventilator, her daughter's grandparents Joseph and Marion Smith said she told her eldest daughter Aimee: "Whatever happens, make sure my kids don't get split up".

The family have set up a Just Giving page in memory of Nicola to help support her three daughters.

You can donate to the Just Giving page set up in Nicola's name by Joseph Smith by clicking here

Paying tribute to Nicola, Marion Smith said: "She was so bubbly and outgoing, very family orientated.

"We've always been close even though her and my son separated years ago. She's always been a part of our lives.

"She was just a lovely person. We're absolutely devastated all of us. We just heartbroken, it's unbelievable that it's happened."

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Hundreds of tributes to Nicola have flooded in as well as donations on the family's fundraising page.

Becky Mackin posted: "Nicci was an amazing mum and friend. She was a huge part of my childhood and I have nothing but happy memories because of her, and for that I will always cherish and be grateful to her. Rest in peace".

Sinead Carter said: "Sending all our love and support to Nicci's family, such a wonderful lady who was amazing at her job, caring for all the children at Playtots nursery. In loving memory, Sinead and James".

Lynette Mark Gabby posted: "RIP Nicci. Such a happy, kind, lovely lady who will be missed by many. Thinking of your gorgeous girls and family xx xx xx".

And Lyndsey, Stan & Emily & Blake said: "Rest in peace Nic. I will miss seeing your smiling face and having a gab. Love to your beautiful girls and thinking them and all your family & friends. You will be missed eternally xxx".

Nicci's final wish before she was placed on a ventilator was that her children should be allowed to stay together if anything happened to her.

Nicola's dad Anthony said her funeral will take place next Wednesday, March 3 at St Mary's Church in Knowsley Village.

She leaves behind her dad Anthony, daughters Aimee, Isabella and Holly. Sisters Tracey and Laura, and her two brothers Craig and Adam.

Anthony added: "She was a beautiful and lovely person, everyone loved her in Knowsley Village.

"She was so well liked and didn't have a bad bone in her body.

"Her sisters and her brothers are absolutely devastated.

"We have moments when we can talk about it and the next thing we're sobbing our hearts out."

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