Tributes to young Boston dad who died suddenly from meningitis and who has saved eight lives as donor

Matt Collins with his wife Michelle and daughters Holly, Phoebe and Frankie. 
Photo: supplied
Matt Collins with his wife Michelle and daughters Holly, Phoebe and Frankie. Photo: supplied
  • Matt Collins died suddenly from meningitis
  • Family agreed to donate his bone marrow and organs, which have already saved eight people’s lives, including a patient of just two-years-old

Tributes have been paid to a young Boston dad, described as a ‘legend’ by his family, after he died suddenly.

‘Gentle giant’ Matt Collins, 27, from Old Leake, died on Monday, February 20, from Bacterial Meningitis, four days after being admitted to hospital when he fell ill while working away from home.

He has left a big hole in the lives of everyone who knew him. Everyone loved him - people at work and his friends. He just wanted to make people laugh.

Wife Michelle Collins

His wife Michelle has been inundated with messages from people who remembered Matt as being a ‘hero to everybody’. He was dad to their three young girls, twins Holly and Phoebe, four, and Frankie, two.

Even after his death Michelle says Matt has continued to be a hero. He had the rare blood type B Negative and his family agreed to donate his bone marrow and organs, which have already saved eight people’s lives, including a patient of just two-years-old.

Michelle, 34, said: “He has left a big hole in the lives of everyone who knew him. Everyone loved him - people at work and his friends. He just wanted to make people laugh. He was a big kid. He loved making memories with his children and friends. If we had a party for the kids he’d want to get an adult bouncy castle so he could try it out first. If there was a water pistol around he’d grab it and try to get everyone wet. He was the life and soul of the party, a gentle giant.”

Matt worked for Oakwick Utility Arborists, near Sleaford, mainly as a tree surgeon, and was working away in Eastbourne when he became ill. He was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital where doctors discovered swelling in his brain. Michelle rushed to his bedside.

She said: “He laid in that hospital and he fought all he could.”

Matt was a farming and tractor enthusiast. The couple were also both big fans of Minis.

“We married at Tattershall Castle in September 2011. Matt turned up in a tractor and I arrived in a mini,” Michelle added. “After I discovered I was pregnant with the twins, we sold our Mini and bought a Mini estate which we restored. It was featured in the magazine Mini World which Matt was really excited about.

“All he ever wanted was to get work, save enough to buy a house and get married. People say he was a legend, but he wasn’t just a legend, he was the legend of legends and loved so much.”

Among family Matt leaves behind are his mum and dad Dawn and Darrel and brother Arran.