A POPULAR father of three who died suddenly had his funeral costs almost paid after his community rallied round.

The grieving partner of 29-year-old Newport man Luke Osmond thanked people in the city who helped to pay for his funeral.

Mr Osmond died on September 21, after suffering what partner Charlene Sotiros described as a seizure at home in Medway Road, Bettws.

Abrain haemorrhage was initially suspected, but a post-mortem proved inconclusive and the results of tests are awaited.

Mr Osmond’s death has shocked the Bettws community, and Ms Sotiros said messages of support and offers of help have been a great comfort.

She said: “I’m trying to keep things normal, sending the boys to school and looking after the baby.

They need a routine.

“There’s a massive hole in our lives. It’s hard, but people have been very kind and that’s a big help.”

Mr Osmond was due to start work at the Tesco distribution centre in Magor before his untimely death.

Ms Sotiros reserved special thanks for Lesley Sheedy and her husband John, of Bettws.

Family friend Mrs Sheedy said a Facebook page - RIP Luke - was opened in tribute to Mr Osmond and she appealed for help to pay for the funeral. To date, close to £1,000 has been raised.

“It’s so sad and so unexpected.

Funerals are expensive, you don’t expect to have to think about that for someone Luke’s age,” she said.

“The response has been overwhelming.

“[Funeral director] Mike Ryan has been excellent, and so have the Old Oak Stave pub in Rogerstone, Betta Cabs, Lily’s flower shop in Malpas Road, councillors Noel Trigg and Kevin Whitehead, and businesses in Newport Market.

“But so many more people have contributed to what is an ongoing effort and we’d like to say thank you to them all.

“We’d also like to thank Daniel Miller, Luke’s friend, who has made a beautiful video of Luke and the children from photos.

“Luke’s death is devastating. It’s really shocked people because he was fit, looked after himself.

“He was cheeky, always had something to say, but everyone loved him.”

Desperate efforts to save man’s life

MS SOTIROS said Mr Osmond had woken up with a headache on the day he died, and decided to go back to bed.

“I heard a bang upstairs and thought it was one of the dogs, but Luke was having a sort of seizure,” she said.

She performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on him before an ambulance crew arrived and took over.

He was taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital, but was pronounced dead.

A former pupil of St Joseph’s High School, Newport, Mr Osmond has five siblings and was father to Lee, eight, Jake, six, and one-year-old Callum.