A Caerphilly man who lost his wife while on holiday in San Francisco has thanked the community for the support they have shown him and his son.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in memory of Zoe Williams, who was 42 when she died from a blood clot on Sunday, November 3.
Zoe left behind husband Jason, 45, and son Hayden, 11.
Jason told Caerphilly Observer: “I can’t thank everyone enough. The people of Caerphilly county have dragged us through it.
“Caerphilly should be proud.”
A match-worn Cardiff City shirt worn by former Bluebirds, Swansea and Watford player Dai Thomas was donated by his daughter, Madison Thomas, to be auctioned.
The shirt, as well as Mr Thomas’ promotion-winning medal from the 1998/99 season, was bought by Fabian Benvenuti, owner of the Fish Factory in Trecenydd, for £2,400 – which was put towards Zoe’s funeral costs and a trust fund for Hayden.
Mr Thomas, who is a friend of Jason, said: “We felt we needed to do something. Madison donated the shirt – she’s friends with Hayden.
“Fabian even offered to give the shirt back to Madison when she turns 18, but she refused.”
Signed-Muhammad Ali memorabilia has also been auctioned to raise money.
The memorabilia was bought by Andrew Maguire and sold by family friend Allan Jones.
One of Mr Jones’ friends, Sam Butler, who has never met Jason, donated a signed framed photograph of former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, which has also been auctioned to raise funds.
Meanwhile, Jason and Hayden met Cardiff City left-back Joe Bennett before his team’s game with Bristol City on Sunday, November 10.
Bennett gave Hayden a pair of boots and a signed jersey.
Newbridge-born rugby player Elliot Dee, who plays for Wales and the Dragons, sent the family a video message offering them his support.
Shortly after flying out to California on Saturday, October 26, Zoe began to feel unwell.
Her symptoms were similar to Guillain-Barré syndrome – an autoimmune disorder Zoe had 20 years ago.
On the third day of the holiday, the family visited a doctor and Zoe received treatment for Guillain-Barré syndrome, but her condition worsened.
The family were due to return home on Saturday, November 2, but were advised not to fly by airport medics after Zoe, who was originally from Abertridwr, began to lose consciousness before the plane departed.
They stayed overnight in a disabled hotel room at San Francisco International Airport, but Zoe passed away in her husband’s arms.
After Zoe’s death, friends and family flew out to San Francisco to support Jason and Hayden.
Talking about his wife, Jason said: “Zoe was like one of the boys.
“You always heard her before you could see her.”
Jason said he was “overwhelmed” and “lost for words” by the support he has received since Zoe’s passing.
He also said that “Hayden is as strong as knots at the moment”.
To make a donation to Zoe’s family, visit obv.sr/zoe.