Three Auckland children have been left orphaned after losing their father to a heart attack, four years after their mother died from one herself.

The eldest of the children, aged only 12, performed CPR on his dad in a desperate but unsuccessful attempt to save his life.

Terrence Dixon, who worked as a drycleaner, died last week. He is survived by his two daughters Tessa and Tiara, aged 8 and 10, and son Terry, 12.

The grieving children will farewell their second parent at a funeral today.


"They will never be orphaned," their current carer and family friend Sandie Pedersen said.

"I have promised to care for them until the end of the school year with a meeting between the children's social worker and their whanau in south and west Auckland at Christmas to make long-term plans between us."

The community is now rallying to support the three children and fundraise to provide them financial security.

Teachers from Torbay Primary gave up their Sunday at the weekend to help clean and sort the family residence and a food roster has also been set up between the teachers.

Browns Bay Countdown has put together a food parcel for the children, including a $1000 voucher for future groceries, and gift cards for the in-store pharmacy.

"We know it's a tough time for the Dixon children and their family, so we wanted to offer a little bit of help from our store and in-store pharmacy to support them. Our Browns Bay community is here to support the family," store manager Ian Samu said.

A Givealittle page has been established to provide for the three Dixon children - and almost $20,000 has been donated already.

The page says: "We would ideally love to keep the 3 children together as a family unit & with the right support I know that we can make this happen."

Britta Pedersen created the fund for the children, who she said had been left devastated and were in shock after their father's sudden death.

"Donations have come from the entire span of NZ, from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South as well as globally reaching from the USA & Australia," she told the Herald.

Terrence Dixon with his children Tiara, 10, Terry, 12, and Tessa, 8. Photo / Givealittle
Terrence Dixon with his children Tiara, 10, Terry, 12, and Tessa, 8. Photo / Givealittle

"Sometimes it just takes one person to make a difference, but with an entire village/community I know we can make a change in the lives of these incredible kids."

All the money raised will go towards their father's funeral costs, food, schooling, grief counselling and the daily needs of the children.

As of this morning, $19,655 has been raised from 327 donors.