FRIENDS of a young dad who died after suffering a cardiac arrest at work have set up a fundraising page to help his family at this difficult time.

Michal Stepien, aged 34, died last Thursday after the ambulance service was called to Avara Foods, formerly called Cargill, in Grandstand Road.

CPR was carried out by colleagues and a defibrillator was used but sadly nothing could be done to save him and he died at Hereford County Hospital. 

He leaves behind his wife, Asia, 32, and his two sons, Hubert, aged four and Frankie, aged just four-months-old.

Michal has lived in Hereford for the past 13 years but his family want his body to be returned to his home country of Poland so he can be buried there.

Friends have set up a donation page online to raise £1,000 so wellwishers can help cover bills and funeral costs. 

On the JustGiving page it says: “On Thursday 8th March we received a phone call to say that our dearest friend Michal passed away suddenly, at the age of 34, he died at work, just like that. No goodbye or see you later - no nothing.

“It is hard to describe what sort of person he was, funny and loving life, the best host you could ever imagine - the minute you walked into his house for a coffee, he would magically set up the table with a full three-course dinner, dessert and a few vodka shots to keep you warm.”

The tribute said he was a caring friend who made sure you felt good in his company. He had started to feel unwell lately but he didn’t want to worry his family, it said.

The tribute said Asia is on maternity leave and has very little financial support adding: “She needs help in this difficult time and here is why we reach out to you.”

Donations would help “make it a little easier for her to be able to mourn her husband's death and not worry about how she is going to pay her bills now.”

The tribute ended: “Death in a family is difficult for everyone, but it is not something that should happen to a 32-year-old woman, who is now a widow, with four and a half-year-old boy and 4-month-old baby to look after.”

An Avara spokeswoman said: "We were shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the passing of a well-respected and much loved colleague. Our focus right now is making sure that his family, and colleagues, are getting the support that they need at this difficult time.

"The health, safety and wellbeing of all our colleagues is our absolute priority."

To donate go to