Church bells rang in tears and anguish at the funeral of Sydney’s mother Vanessa Tadros, who died in a helicopter crash on the Gold Coast.
Family and friends bid farewell to 36-year-old Tadros at a funeral service at the beloved St. John of Mount Druitt.
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She was one of four people killed when two helicopters collided on January 2 and her chopper hit a sandbar near Sea World.
Tadros’ 10-year-old son Nicolas, who was on one of the helicopters with his mother, woke up from a coma on Sunday and is still in critical condition.
Husband Simon’s eulogy was punctuated by silence as he fought back tears in unison with hundreds of mourners at the Maronite Catholic Church in western Sydney.
“Vanessa was a special person. Her smile was contagious…she had a pure heart…every day we grew stronger together. She was our protection.” was a person,” he told the congregation.
“To my beautiful wife, I will always love you no matter what difficulties we face. I know you will always be with me. Rest in peace, beautiful.”
But in the midst of the agony of being separated from his wife of 12 years, Tadros found room to lighten up.
“If you knew my wife, she would say it’s rude if you don’t thank everyone, so thank you for coming.”
Simon Tadros heads to the Gold Coast on Monday afternoon with his slowly recovering son.
Pierre, a congregation in his 50s, told AAP that Tadros embodies the ideal of a loving family.
“We are in so much pain. Vanessa was so pure, the best and the kindest,” he said.
“Her mother is a very nice woman, but she is very hurt.”
The service was conducted in Arabic and English by Coptic Orthodox and Lebanese Maronite priests.
Ranya, a woman in her 40s who grew up in the Tadros family, also came to pay her respects.
“The whole family has been humble and very supportive of each other during this terrible tragedy,” she told AAP.
British couple Ron and Diane Hughes and pilot Ashley Jenkinson were also killed in the crash.
Jenkinson’s funeral was held on the Gold Coast on Friday.
Air Transport Security Administration investigators are not expected to complete their investigation into the incident until September 2024.