I am a proud mum of three beautiful children, Dax, aged 7, and twins Leo and Oska. The only difference for me is one of my twins lives here in my home and the other is tucked up in my heart forever.
Leo’s has been set up in memory of my little boy – Leo. He saved both mine and Oska’s life. Without him, I might not be sitting here writing this for you.
In the last three years, our family has experienced the challenges of having two extremely preterm babies; wrapping my head around having a delayed twin delivery and the trauma that brought, losing a child, spending months on a neonatal unit wondering if we’d ever bring Oska home. Raising a twinless twin and the challenges that brings – each year, in all honesty, it’s different, with the ongoing health issues Oska faces because of being born so prematurely. Watching our eldest son be consumed with anxiety as he became afraid of death and being poorly and witnessing things I wish I could have protected him from … and much more.
That said, I have made some incredible friends these last three years. Friends who have weathered the storm with me, gone through similar experiences be it child loss, twin loss or the NICU.
Being able to reflect on our journey, witnessing the effects it has had on myself, the boys’ dad, my mum, our family, my friends, meeting people at various points on theirs and seeing what has happened to their family and friends, has allowed me to take stock of what is needed, where we can help, and how we can help.
So, Leo’s was formed.
My background is in PR, social media and events, having worked at award-winning agencies Cool Blue Brand Communications and Mischief PR. I most recently spent time working with the Neoangels charity, where I met some amazing families and had the privilege of working with the wonderful staff at North Tees. I currently sit on the steering committee for ‘The efficacy, and mechanism of surfactant therapy for critically ill infants with Bronchiolitis: The Bronchiolitis Endotracheal Surfactant Study (BESS)’ based in Liverpool.
I am full time carer to Oska, and love making special memories with both my boys. And, I also run and volunteer for Leo’s. Being able to create his legacy and ‘work’ with him brings me great comfort.
But this is for you Leo, my greatest hero x