Boyfriend's tribute to 'perfect girl'

THE grieving boyfriend of a "perfect girl" told yesterday how he placed an engagement ring on the finger of his dead wife-to-be in a final act of love.

By Sharon Asplin

THE grieving boyfriend of a "perfect girl" told yesterday how he placed an engagement ring on the finger of his dead wife-to-be in a final act of love.

Shocked family and friends of Zoe Wheeler, from Colchester, are coming to terms with the loss of the healthy and active 25-year-old, who died suddenly in the middle of the night.

Tests to ascertain the cause of Miss Wheeler's death have still not been completed.

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Secretary Miss Wheeler and her partner Ross Fenwick, who lived together at Orwell Close, Colchester, had been planning to get married and Mr Fenwick had intended to propose during a dream holiday to the romantic Greek island of Santorini in May.

The couple, who had been together for nearly four years, were due to move to a new home in Miss Wheeler's home town of Wivenhoe yesterday.

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Last Thursday they began packing and Mr Fenwick, who runs his own IT security business, said: "But we set aside half an hour for ourselves as we had been so busy and I am now so glad that we did."

He was awakened in the early hours of the morning when Miss Wheeler was taken ill.

At first, he just thought she had a high temperature but quickly realised something was seriously wrong. He called an ambulance and desperately followed instructions over the phone as he battled in vain to save her.

"I have taken first aid courses and have done CPR but to have to do that for someone you love… I just wish I could have saved her," he said. Despite his efforts and those of medical staff, she died soon afterwards.

"We knew we wanted to get married and she had chosen the ring she wanted," said Mr Fenwick. "We just wanted to do everything properly and in the right way. We had good values and wanted to get engaged, get married and have kids and bring them up right, or so we thought, but now those plans have gone to pot.

"I am still in shock and I think she's going to walk through the door. Today I have been to see her in hospital and I got her engagement ring and put it on her."

The couple met when Miss Wheeler was on work experience at the Oaks Hospital in Colchester where Mr Fenwick worked at the time. They met again after Mr Fenwick returned from a spell living in Canada and their relationship blossomed from there.

Her parents Graham and Jeanne Wheeler, of Elmstead Road, Wivenhoe, yesterday thanked their friends and the local community for the support they had received following the tragedy.

Mr Wheeler said: "The cards and messages we have received from friends, people in Wivenhoe and even people we do not know have been a great comfort and it has helped.

"Zoe was just a perfect girl and there was no fault with her. We absolutely knew that the pair of them were right for each other. We just loved her and it's a great loss."

Miss Wheeler was a former pupil at the Broomgrove School in Wivenhoe and the Colne Community School in Brightlingsea.

After A-Levels at the Colchester Sixth Form College, she took a secretarial course at the Colchester Institute, eventually working for Plumbase in Colchester.

Miss Wheeler also leaves a brother Paul, 22, who is studying at university. A funeral will arranged at a later date.

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