Tributes have been paid to a young dad who died suddenly while he was on holiday. Rob Channelle was holidaying with his partner and their two young children in Devon when he was found dead in his bed one morning.
The 34-year-old died on May 1, leaving behind partner Nicole and sons Theo, two, and 11-month-old Jacob. Rob, from Bristol, suffered from serious health difficulties, battling two cancers which left him blind due to complications from surgery. He also suffered from an infection in his head as well as the cancer, which left him with a sizeable hole requiring more surgeries.
Family friend Keela Wachon, speaking on behalf of Nicole, told Bristol Live that since Rob’s death, 31-year-old Nicole, has been struggling emotionally. “Everything at the moment is just shattered for her really, just completely shattered.”
“It’s just one thing on top of another. Little things will just remind her, start her off. She tried to go to the children and babies group for the first time since, and she used to go everywhere with Rob, they were together 24/7. She had to go everywhere with him and do everything for him.”
Keela says that Rob was a “brilliant dad” and a “down-to-Earth” person who has been sorely missed. “You would always know that he was there, he had a big presence. Everyone knew about it if Rob was there, he was a brilliant bloke,” she added.
“He did as much as he could do for the boys. I think Nicole is also a fantastic mother, she’s amazing. I’ve got four kids myself and I don’t know how she has done it so well with the boys and done absolutely everything for Rob.
“And she doesn’t complain about it either, she just gets on. That was her life, it was his life. Their life was each other”
Rob and Nicole were due to be married in December 2023, but because of his untimely death, Nicole has been struggling financially as she is ineligible for bereavement payments as an unmarried partner, despite being with Rob for 11 years. And Keela said that Nicole is now fighting to get the “old fashioned, archaic” law changed to allow couples who aren’t married to get the payments.
“It’s just one more blow on top of everything. Not only has she got to worry about everything else, she’s also got to worry about (finances). Bereavement payments aren’t for ever but it will slowly ease people into the new way their life is gonna be,” she added.
Keela has set up a fundraiser on behalf of Nicole and the children to support them and help them to cover Rob’s funeral costs, which you can view by clicking here.