Two sisters died of brain haemorrhages within 24 hours of each other while they were in different countries.
The siblings were separated by hundreds of miles when they suffered strokes, with Jacqueline Williams falling ill first in Germany.
Amanda Williams, 54, collapsed as she was readying herself to travel from Leicestershire to be at her sick sister's bedside.
Neither of the siblings regained consciousness, LeicestershireLive reports.
Their mother Jean Carvell, nee Williams, said she felt like she had been "hit by a sledgehammer" when she was told she had lost not one but two daughters within a matter of hours.
The 80-year-old, from Loughborough, said there was a phone call from Jacqueline’s daughter, Charlene, in Ingolstadt, on Thursday, September 5, telling her the 57-year-old was in a critical condition in hospital.
“We were told it was a bleed on the brain and that it wasn’t looking good,” said Jean.
“We knew we had to fly over there as quickly as possible."
But as Jean, Amanda and her daughter, Kellie Aikens, were preparing to fly to Germany when Amanda herself collapsed.
“Amanda lived in Shepshed , so my husband, Graham, drove over on Thursday lunchtime to get her to come over to ours to see what flights we could get," said Jean.
“When we got near to where she lived, we saw the police and an ambulance down the road.
“We knocked on her door and never dreamed they were there for her.
“I said to Graham, ‘Oh no, some poor soul is in a bad way'.
“The next thing was that we had a call saying she was on her way to Glenfield Hospital, so we followed the ambulance. ”
Amanda had collapsed in the street, where she was found by an off-duty nurse who attempted CPR as the paramedics were called.
Kellie, 34, who lives in Market Harborough, said: “The nurse had seen Mum go down. When I called Mum the nurse picked the phone up and told me she was unresponsive.
“I’m guessing she had gone to the shop.
“It all happened so fast – in a crazy 20 minutes – that it’s hard to understand.
"Mum hadn't collapsed before but she was under so much stress.
"I had to have surgery to remove a benign tumour from my brain in February and she was so supportive, and then to get the news about my auntie.
"We think it was too much for her."
Amanda was put on life support while she underwent tests to establish what had happened.
Kellie said: “On Friday they stopped the sedation, but she didn’t come round. She was being kept alive by the ventilators.
“She was pronounced dead on the Saturday.
“We found out Jacqueline had also passed on the Friday.”
Jean, who has another daughter, Karena, aged 60, said: “I felt like I had been hit with a sledgehammer. I still do.
“I haven’t taken it all in yet.
“To lose two children within 24 hours in different countries.”
Jacqueline, who formerly lived in Mountsorrel, and Amanda were close.
“They were both very spontaneous and they loved to travel," said Jean.
“There was only three years between them and I still remember finding Jacqueline in Amanda’s cot when she was a baby just stroking her face.
“They were so affectionate to each other and all their relatives."
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