In honour of my gorgeous little girl, Jade, I’m going to tell you a story of a time that still hurts like hell.
Jade and her (slightly older) twin brother Mitch were born on 5 March 2013 at 36 weeks by emergency caesarean. Mitch was born first, then Jade. Mitch had to go into the NICU for help with his breathing for the first 12 hours, but then I got to take him home. I had an amazing 5 weeks with just me and three children under 3.
One night after Mitch came home, I was feeding him, and my mum was bathing Jade. Jade fell in the bath for a brief second. She was OK but that night her symptoms got worse, so we took her to emergency. By this stage Jade was very pale and having trouble breathing. At first the doctors thought that someone must have shaken her, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was hoping it was just breathing problems they could easily treat, but what we were told was much, much worse. Jade had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. I was so shocked. I thought they must have made a mistake. We’d gone in for breathing problems – I knew they could fix breathing problems!
The doctors transferred Jade to the Royal Children’s Hospital. Just the week before I had been watching the hospital’s Good Friday Appeal on TV, thinking how blessed I was, and now this. People were trying to message me to find out what was going on, but I just couldn’t speak.
When I got to the hospital and saw Jade hooked up to machines in the ICU my heart broke. She had developed meningitis, which turned into septicaemia. I never got to take her home. Jade passed away on the 16th of May. I spent my last Mother’s Day with her in hospital, and I remember she’d smiled up at me.
Mitch and Jade had an unbreakable bond. I think Mitch felt all the jabs Jade had because he cried, and when Jade took her last breath, my brother who was babysitting Mitch said he started coughing up his milk.
Thankfully tests revealed Mitch didn’t have what Jade had. If they’d been identical, I would have lost both of my babies.
I almost lost myself when Jade wasn’t here anymore. It’s been six years since then. Mitch is now 6 and my other son Lucas is 9.I have my rainbow baby, Adam, now too. He’s 2. I still live day by day – some days are good, and others are not so good. I hate that I’m so different now. It kills me that I will never know how Jade would look now, but I will never forget her. I miss her, and her brothers miss her. Lucas has a doll called Jade which he kisses every night.
Red Nose Day is important to me is because it is a day where families who have suffered a loss can share their stories and acknowledge their children who are no longer with them. It can be such a lonely road, so this opportunity is so important for bereaved families.