‘Losing my Toyin was such a shock’

Stephen Mackinson pictured with his late partner Toyin Adefioye.

Stephen Mackinson pictured with his late partner Toyin Adefioye.

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A DEVASTATED businessman who was left heartbroken by the shock death of his fiancée following a brain bleed has spoken for the first time about his loss.

Stephen Mackinson and Toyin Adefioye were due to get married this summer, on Friday, June 8.

But tragedy struck when Toyin died suddenly after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Stephen said he and Toyin had attended an elderly uncle’s funeral the day before and he never expected that his beautiful fiancée – who was just 44 – would die the next day.

Toyin, who lived with Stephen in Park Road, Hartlepool, had complained of headaches for two months before she passed away.

Doctors at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, discovered an enlarged blood vessel in her brain and she was booked in for an operation to remove it within a week.

But just a day later, she was rushed to the hospital after waking up with intense pain and losing consciousness.

Stephen, who was due to marry Toyin on HMS Trincomalee in front of 60 guests, said: “What a beautiful woman she was.

“It was an enormous shock, it was horrendous.

“She had had bad headaches and pains and had been to Sunderland Eye Infirmary three times.

“She went for an MRI scan on the Tuesday and on the Thursday we got a phone call from James Cook University Hospital saying they had discovered an enlarged blood vessel.

“On the Friday she was gone – just like that.”

Since Toyin’s death, on July 1 last year, Stephen, who works for the Durham-based construction firm Esh Group, where Toyin was human resources manager, says he has drawn great comfort from Hartlepool Bereavement Service.

Stephen and his son from a previous relationship, William, 22, who also works for Esh Group, will join 10 other colleagues on a 50-mile “Up the coast” bike ride from Hartlepool to Sunderland and back to raise money for the bereavement service and the Stroke Association.

Stephen, who is also dad to Sarah, 18, and moved to Hartlepool from Peterlee four years ago, said: “I have been going to the bereavement service in Park Road and they have been very helpful in taking me through the process of grief.

“Toyin’s death was a real shock.

“Life seems to have had no purpose.

“But since I have gone to the bereavement service, they have shown me a process to go through and that in time I will learn how to cope.”

He added what happened was especially hard to come to terms with as Toyin, who moved to the North-East from London 25 years ago, was fit and healthy and loved cycling.

The bike ride will take place on Sunday, May 6.

Linda Parker, who set up Hartlepool Bereavement Service, said: “It’s very good of Stephen to do this for us, we really appreciate it. He has dealt with his loss in such a dignified way and is a now a committee member.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor the riders can call Stephen on 07801 213767.