Family shocked at sudden death of heavily pregnant 'kind' photographer Janay Johnstone

Family shocked at sudden death of heavily pregnant 'kind' photographer Janay Johnstone
Photo credit: Givealittle

The family of a "friendly" and "kind" pregnant mother and photographer who died unexpectedly have spoken out about their shock loss.

Janay Johnstone, who was pregnant with a baby girl at the time, suddenly died on Wednesday, leaving behind a loving family and three-year-old child Tiāre.

Her husband Mark Johnstone told Newshub that he and Tiāre would "continue to miss her every single day for the rest of our lives".

Her sister-in-law, Lana Mitchell, also spoke of her incredible kindness and generosity to the people around her.

"She was an open, friendly, kind person. Well she 'is', there is no 'was' about it, she still is... she's amazing," she told Newshub.

"Her openness, her take on life, her easy going nature - the memories of her that are throughout the family are just how she would drop anything and do anything for anyone."

A Givealittle page set up by Ollie Dale, the President of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP), aimed to give the photographic community somewhere to "express their love and compassion with donations," according to the page.

While the page has raised more than $11,000 in only one day, Ms Mitchell said the impact she had on the photographic community was only a small part of the effect she had on the world.

"It only shows a small amount. To everyone else it may mean a lot, but that is only a small amount that contributes to her as a person," she said.

"We have gone through as a family and we have read the comments, and we are amazed, but at the same time it is only a small part."

Ms Johnstone often gave up her time for the Heartfelt group, a volunteer organisation of Australian and New Zealand photographers who give the gift of photographic memories to families who have experienced stillbirths, premature births and those with children with serious illnesses.

But again, Ms Mitchell said that only reflected a small part of who Ms Johnstone was.

"She would do anything for anyone in a heartbeat whether she knew them or not," she said.

Tributes are also flowing in for her on social media, with comments on the NZIPP Facebook page describing Ms Johnstone as someone who "touched so many hearts"

"I am so unbelievably saddened to hear this news today, my heart is so broken for her family," wrote one user.

"Just so horrible. My thoughts go out to her family," said another.

Ms Johnstone owned Tee-Jay Photography, and on the business's Facebook page, she said her passion for photography grew from her first-born being photographed.

"My aim is to always capture your precious little bundle in a way your heart will melt every time you look at them."

A death notice for Ms Johnstone and her unborn baby say they are resting at their Wattle Downs home before they make "their journey to the Far North" at a not yet decided date.

"Our hearts are shattered and our tears flow for our precious girls," it reads.


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