A FAMILY is grieving for the loss of a beloved matriarch after her death from Covid.

Elaine Stevens from Canvey died on January 27 at Southend Hospital aged 75.

Born on April 26, 1945 in Buckinghamshire, Elaine moved to Canvey Island when she was five and spent her childhood growing up there.

In her teenage years, she met her husband Brian, now 80, and they would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this June.

Basildon Standard: Elaine Stevens with her husbandElaine Stevens with her husband

She spent her life caring for her large family as well as caring for members of the community at the Phoenix Club.

As well as her own children, Elaine also took in foster children.

A child at heart, she enjoyed swings, Snapchat, and playing with her grandchildren who nicknamed her ‘ninja nanny’.

The great-great-grandmother was considered the ‘queen’ of the family and leaves behind her seven children, 24 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Basildon Standard: Elaine Stevens rocking out on a guitarElaine Stevens rocking out on a guitar

She also has two great-great-grandchildren on the way this spring.

Elaine was also considered a ‘Dr Doolittle’, taking in and caring for many animals over the years including foxes, kestrals, cats, dogs, parrots, snakes, and more.

Daughter Nicola Stevens, 51, said she is loving, caring, and kind-hearted because it is what her mum instilled in all her children.

She said: “She was the heart of our family, the queen of the family.

“With all her grandchildren, not once did she ever forget one of their names or birthdays.

“The care and communication we received while mum was on life support was above and beyond and we cannot thank the hospital enough.

“We were lucky enough to have a call with her.

“They put the phone to mum’s ear, and we could tell her we loved her the most in all the world.

“She was in there from January 5 to January 27 and every day, they called us for updates.

“Me and sister were able to hold her hand while they turned her life support off.

“She brought us into this world and it was nice to hold her hand while she left this world. Southend Hospital have just been brilliant.

“To play music for her and hold her hand while she passed was an honour.”

Basildon Standard: Elaine Stevens with her daughter NicolaElaine Stevens with her daughter Nicola

The family is going through a difficult time after losing four members to Covid in the past month.

Her mentally-disabled brother John, 56, has started to make canvas paintings as a way of coping with the loss of his mother.

The family now hopes to raise money for Southend Hospital’s critical care unit to buy phones and ensure more families can have an opportunity to have their final calls with loved ones.

Basildon Standard: John Stevens paintingJohn Stevens painting

The family has also proposed the idea of having a memorial mural painted on the Canvey Island sea wall painted to remember the names of residents who died.

“My mum was John’s main carer and since my mum passed, for him to understand it, he’s started painting,” said Nicola.

“I’ve put a couple of his painting up online and people were interesting in buying them.

“He said he wanted to give the money to the hospital for looking after his mum.

“My brother came up with the idea of doing paintings to buy the hospital another phone so other families can make calls.

“It’s just melted our hearts.

“For him to want to want to help other people, it’s just a beautiful thing.”

Basildon Standard: John Stevens with one of his finished paintingsJohn Stevens with one of his finished paintings

The family has raised £150 so far and hopes more can be donated.

Elaine’s funeral procession is set to take place on March 15 in Central Avenue.