Family's desperate bid to bring tragic daughter's body back from Burnley

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The tragic death of a "fun-loving" young mum in Burnley has sparked a plea for help from the family to raise cash to bring her body home.


Zian Lezlee Middleton (21), died in her sleep, leaving a two-month-old baby boy Riley-James and partner Kyle.

Zian Lezlee Middleton (21), died in her sleep, leaving two-month-old baby boy Riley-James and partner Kyle.

Zian Lezlee Middleton (21), died in her sleep, leaving two-month-old baby boy Riley-James and partner Kyle.

Her mum, Fran Smith and dad Les Middleton now want to bring her home to Morecambe for her funeral, and are trying to raise as much money as possible so they can give her the send off she deserves.

Zian – who was known as Ziggy – was born at home in Westgate and went to Morecambe High School. She has three older brothers, Ian and Lewis, who both live in Morecambe, and Daniel, who lives in Keighley. Shortly before giving birth to Riley-James, Ziggy and Kyle had moved to Burnley to be close to Ziggy’s mum Fran, who was going to help with the couple’s new baby.

And it was in Burnley that Ziggy passed away suddenly in her sleep on May 25th - just two months after giving birth to Riley-James.

Tracey Gradwell, Ziggy’s auntie, said: “She went to bed because she wasn’t feeling well and she just didn’t wake up.”

Zian Lezlee Middleton

Zian Lezlee Middleton

It had initially been thought that Ziggy may have died due to complications arising from being diabetic, but a post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered a condition similar to cot death, known as sudden adult death syndrome.

“She was loved by so many people,” Tracey said. “She was fun-loving, she always had a smile and she always made us laugh. The family is distraught. We still can’t come to terms with what’s happened, or understand why. We are all in shock.”

Ziggy’s body is currently in Royal Blackburn Hospital, and it is hoped the family can soon bring her home to Morecambe for a proper send-off. A date for her funeral has been set for 2-30pm on June 27th, at Lancaster and Morecambe Crematorium. Family and friends released balloons on Morecambe prom last weekend to commemorate Ziggy’s life.
And her family has now set up a Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tracey-gradwell-1 to help towards the cost of bringing her home, where almost £2,000 has already been raised.

“We just want to give her the best send-off we possibly can,” Tracey said. “We want to get her back here and help with the funeral costs. Any money leftover will then go into a trust fund for Riley-James.”