A mum of two young boys died after saying “my heart feels a bit funny”, then collapsing at Notting Hill Carnival.
Shaynah Olyvia Smart, 28, suffered a cardiac arrest just an hour after arriving at this year’s festival and was rushed to hospital, where she later died.
She was the mother to seven-year-old Jeshane and two-year-old Jaziah, who are now being cared for by their dad.
Her devastated aunt Melanie told MyLondon : “She was an incredible mum, she loved them so much and it’s heartbreaking that Jaziah will grow up not really knowing who she was.”
On August 28, Shaynah was at west London carnival – which returned after a two-year hiatus – when she told her cousins “my heart feels a bit funny”, before collapsing.
She was taken to a nearby medical tent before being rushed to St Mary’s Hospital.
Melanie said: “It all happened so quickly, I got a call saying she was being taken to the hospital, but by the time I got there she had passed away.”
A post-mortem report was not able to pinpoint exactly what caused the sudden cardiac arrest. She had drank very little alcohol that day and doctors have not been able to spot any obvious triggers, according to her family.
Speaking about Shaynah’s sons, Melanie said: “Jeshane knows what’s going on and he’s pretty down at times, which is hard to hear when he calls us.
“Jeziah knows mum isn’t there but he’s so young he doesn’t know why which is heartbreaking. We’re putting a book together and we’re going to collect as many videos together as possible for him for when he gets older.”
Friends and family have been raising money to give Shaynah’s boys the bright future she wanted for them. You can donate here and all money will be transferred to a Junior ISA in their names to help with further education or anything they may need in the future.
“We just want to ensure that the boys have a secure future as that’s what Shaynah would have wanted. There have been so many generous people donating and we’d like to say thank you,” Melanie said.
Shaynah, who was born in College Park but lived in Kensington with her boys, was undertaking an apprenticeship with Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s children’s services team.
Melanie said: “She was doing really well, I think because she’s just naturally a very caring person. She was working hard to make that a career and were told after she died that they were planning on offering her a permanent position.”
Describing what she’ll miss about her niece, Melanie said: “She was loyal and selfless, often she would help others out so much that she forgot about herself. She was also really bubbly and had an extremely dry sense of humour.”