Parents' heartbreak at son's death

HEARTBROKEN parents of a 40-year-old Suffolk man who died suddenly from a heart attack in Africa have today spoken of their shock at his death.Dean Goodchild, originally from Elmswell, had been living in South Africa for around four months when he was taken ill on Saturday August 18.

HEARTBROKEN parents of a 40-year-old Suffolk man who died suddenly from a heart attack in Africa have today spoken of their shock at his death.

Dean Goodchild, originally from Elmswell, had been living in South Africa for around four months when he was taken ill on Saturday August 18.

Complaining of indigestion, he was taken by a friend to his home in the coastal town of Hermanus, near Cape Town, but died later of a heart attack.

His mother, Jane Goodchild, today opened her heart on the pain of losing a “warm and caring” son.

Mrs Goodchild, 63, of Wetherden Road, Elmswell, said she believed her son to be fit and healthy.

He had never suffered from serious illness in the past.

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She said: “I'm trying my best to deal with it.

“I spoke to him about a week before he died and I'm glad I was able to do that.

“I told him I missed him and he said that he missed me.

“I was hoping he was going to come home soon.”

Mrs Goodchild said she had not seen Dean, who leaves three teenage sons from an earlier marriage, for around three years.

He moved to Thailand in 2002 to set up a bar with his girlfriend Lang and it was in April this year the pair moved to South Africa to run a bar there.

Mrs Goodchild said: “I didn't dream of anything like this happening.

“I loved him so much. “He was a good son and worked very hard.

“I will remember all the happy times we spent together.”

Dean's father, Roger Goodchild, 65, who is divorced from Dean's mother, described his son as his “best friend”.

He said: “Dean and I were closest after he had moved to Thailand and he was not only my son he was also my best friend out there.

“My fondest memories of Dean will be of the times we spent together in Thailand.

“I love him to bits.”

A cremation was carried out in South Africa on Monday, attended by two of Dean's cousins.

A service in his memory for family and friends in the UK will be held at St John's Church, Elmswell on Monday at noon.

n. Would you like to pay tribute to Dean? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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