Heartbreak as chopper victim Vanessa Tedros farewelled while son begins recovery

Church bells tolled amid tears and anguish at the funeral of Sydney mother Vanessa Tadros, killed in a helicopter crash on the Gold Coast.

Jan 16, 2023, updated Jan 16, 2023
Family and friends are consoled during the funeral for helicopter crash victim Vanessa Tadros at St John The Beloved Church in Sydney. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Family and friends are consoled during the funeral for helicopter crash victim Vanessa Tadros at St John The Beloved Church in Sydney. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

Family and friends held a funeral service at Saint John the Beloved in Mount Druitt to farewell Tadros, 36.

She was one of four people killed when two helicopters collided and the chopper she was in crashed into a sand bar near Sea World on January 2.

Tadros’ 10-year-old son Nicholas, who was in one of the helicopters with his mother, woke from a coma on Sunday but remains in a critical condition.

Husband Simon’s eulogy was punctuated by silences as he held back tears in unison with hundreds of mourners at the Maronite Catholic church in western Sydney.

“Vanessa was a special person. Her smile was infectious … she had a pure heart … everyday we grew strong together. She was our protector,” he told the congregation, mostly comprised of Lebanese and Egyptian Australians.

“To my beautiful wife, I will always love you no matter what challenges face us. I know you’ll always be with me. Rest in peace, beautiful.”

But amid the anguish of farewelling his wife of 12 years, Tadros found space for lightness.

“If you knew my wife, she’d call me rude if I didn’t thank everybody, so thank you for coming.”

Tadros will travel to the Gold Coast on Monday afternoon to be with his son as he continues his slow recovery.

A social media post by Tadros said that his son was off life support at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, but still on a ventilator to help him breathe.

“Nicky has been off life support now for a few days and his body has responded very well, still on the ventilator machine to support his breathing.

“They have lowered his sedation medicine at times to see if he is responsive and he has woken up and able to respond to some questions with a nod or shake of the head, he is also able to hold my hand but still no movement in his legs yet but have been advised that could be due to the broken bones in both his legs.

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“Thank you to everybody that has shown support, love and the continuous prayers for Nicky, God is listening to our prayers. Please continue to pray for Nicholas, he has a long hard road ahead of him.”

Pierre, a funeral congregant in his 50s, told AAP Vanesssa Tadros embodied the ideal of a loving family.

“We feel so much pain. Vanessa was so pure-hearted – simply the best and kindest,” he said
“Her mum is such a lovely lady who is so broken hearted.”

The service was conducted in Arabic and English by Coptic Orthodox and Lebanese Maronite priests.

Among those who came to pay their respect was Ranya, a woman in her 40s who grew up with the Tadros family.

“The whole family is humble and they have been such good support to each other amid this terrible tragedy,” she told AAP.

British couple Ron and Diane Hughes and pilot Ashley Jenkinson were also killed in the crash.
Mr Jenkinson’s funeral was held on the Gold Coast on Friday.

Air Transport Safety Bureau investigators are not expected to complete their probe into the accident until September, 2024.

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