HUNDREDS of heartbroken mourners are expected to attend the funeral of a much-loved woman who tragically died just hours after giving birth.
Mum-of-three Joanne Jones lost her life after her heart stopped during a routine operation shortly after delivering her first beautiful son Riley Jeff Jo Jones.
She was only 35.
Joanne gave birth to Riley a month early at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.
She was able to spend 20 blissful minutes cradling him in her arms before she was taken to theatre to have a routine operation to deliver the placenta.
But her heart stopped beating and despite doctors managing to stabilise her for several hours she tragically died about nine hours later.
Joanne will be laid to rest tomorrow at St Patrick’s Church, Owton Manor Lane.
Her devastated family including her husband Anthony Jones and daughters Connie Letts-Jones, 11, and Millie, eight, bravely spoke to the Mail earlier this week to pay tribute to her.
Anthony, 33, of Kingsley Avenue, Hartlepool, said: “Joanne was the backbone of our family and it sounds clichéd but she really was the best mam in the world.”
Scores of friends and relatives also paid tribute to Joanne in the Mail’s family announcements page.
Her parents Jeff and Dianne Baker wrote a touching poem describing her as “a daughter in a million” who was “loving, thoughtful and so kind.”
They added: “One day we may understand. Sleep with the angels our beautiful darling Jo.”
Her loving sister Naomi said Joanne was “the best sister ever, the holder of my heart and the strength within me.”
Connie, Millie and Riley said: “Look down from Heaven above, we are blowing kisses up and sending all our love.”
Joanne’s funeral is at 1pm and all are welcome.