A mum, who lived in Blackburn, died after going to hospital with stomach pain and her family has set up a charity fundraiser in her name.

Jennifer Marsden, originally from Lower Darwen, died on Saturday (October 20) after suffering two cardiac arrests.

She was admitted to hospital with pancreatitis and gallstones, weeks before.

Jennifer’s husband, Warren, said Jennifer had been seriously ill for seven weeks and was on life support, after coming to the hospital with stomach pains

She had been getting better and was expected to come home in the coming weeks but then deteriorated and died, aged 56.

Lancashire Telegraph: Warren Marsden (right) has launched a fundraiser in memory of his late wife, JenniferWarren Marsden (right) has launched a fundraiser in memory of his late wife, Jennifer (Image: Warren Marsden)

Warren, who was married to Jennifer for 36 years, has now set up a fundraiser for Secret Santa, a charity she loved and frequently donated to.

Jennifer had wanted to make a contribution to the charity this year to help the Secret Santa 2023 Christmas appeal, where they give hundreds of sacks of presents to local children.

He said: “Jen loved Secret Santa and had always been involved with it, as it helped underprivileged kids in Blackburn with Darwen.

“It was a charity that meant a lot to her and she supported it ever since we moved back to it around seven years ago. She donated to it every year.”

Warren said the former care worker dedicated her life to helping people.

He said: “Jen spent her entire working life giving love and care to others, which was her passion.

"I’ve lost count of the number of kids that she cared for as a nursery nurse, childminder and as a care worker for the elderly in Blackburn and Darwen.”

Warren said he has shocked at the support the JustGiving pager has received. At the time of writing £3,142 has been raised for the charity. The initial target of £500 was smashed in 20 minutes.

“We are gob smacked about the amount of donations,” Warren said. “We didn’t think we would reach £500 but never thought we would reach the thousands.

“It hit the target in 20 minutes and reached £1,000 in an hour.

“We are stunned and didn’t expect this.

Lancashire Telegraph: Warren Marsden has launched a fundraiser in memory of his late wife, Jennifer MarsdenWarren Marsden has launched a fundraiser in memory of his late wife, Jennifer Marsden (Image: Warren Marsden)

“It just shows how caring people in the area are, as people are donating right in the middle of the cost of living crisis.

“A lot come from friends and family but there are names no one recognises, so it’s clear strangers are contributing after reading her story.

“Our family is simply devastated by her loss, but the love shown from so many people personally and on social media has been incredible.

“It has shown us how much she was loved by so many people, and I simply wanted to help her fulfil her wishes of continuing to help children, even after she had passed.

“Thank you so much for everyone’s support and donations, the people of East Lancashire really are amazing.”

Phil Boulding, managing director of Secret Santa, has described the money raised as a “gift from heaven”.

He said: “Jennifer was a close neighbour and friend of ours, she would often walk across the road with donated items she had collected.

“When we heard the news of her death, we were simply shocked stunned and upset. We looked at the beautiful messages and outpouring of support we were just in awe at how much this lady was loved.

“The donations just kept coming from all directions… we had never seen anything like it - talk about a gift from Heaven.

Jennifer always had a smile on her face and she has just put a smile on an amazing number of children’s faces this year.”

To make a donation visit the family's JustGiving page at :www.justgiving.com