Category Archives: Millie

Without a Child – Mother’s Day 

In a perfect world this 2017 Mother’s Day, I would have my 5 year old daughter Millie running into our bedroom with a plate of toast that daddy made & a handmade card that she’d made at school with some flowers that she’d picked with her daddy; my crazy little whirlwind 2 year old son bringing me in whatever he came across as he ran from his bedroom to give me a kiss and I’d also be extremely tired after having a restless night because I’d be 6 months pregnant.

That’s how it should be, in a perfect world. But it’s not. And actually, not many people live in a perfect reality but many of us struggle to see that. 

In my reality. My lovely little whirlwind son will come bounding into our bedroom with a million books just as he does every morning and he’ll give me a big sloppy morning kiss and jump into bed with us. 

Later that morning, we’ll pay a visit to our daughter’s sleeping place and instead of her giving me flowers, I will give them to her and lay them on her resting place to keep it looking beautiful; this I find extremely hard on Mother’s Day but I still do it. 

The cemetery is always busy on Mother’s Day but with people laying flowers on their mother’s resting places – the way it should be. The reason we are visiting the cemetery places us in a minority group on this day, a group that we would give anything not to be in.

I won’t be tired because of a restless night being 6 months pregnant either because I sadly miscarried just before 12 weeks in November 2016. To read more about this click here 

We won’t go out for a meal or go somewhere fun like many families because four years after losing Millie and even after having Leo, I still struggle seeing families so happy on these certain days and I spend all day crying. Daft, I know – especially because many of these families probably have their own sad stories. I find it hard still being around families on these days that have these lovely big families – because we should be a noisy family of 4 (nearly 5) and we aren’t – our card has been dealt much differently through no fault of our own.  I’m not jealous, or angry – it just hurts, so much. 


I know that things will be different in a few years, especially when Leo is at school and he’ll make me things for these special days & he’ll come running out of school with for them, so proud of what he has made. He’ll suddenly one year be old enough to bring me breakfast in bed without daddy’s help & even pick his own card for me and choose where we should spend Mother’s Day together – I can’t wait for this; because it will make Leo happy and in turn it will make me smile and enjoy the day more. I genuinely am looking forward to this. 

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This year is my 5th Mother’s Day without Millie and my 3rd one with Leo. If you do the sums you will realise that I had 2 Mother’s Days being a mum but without a child in my arms. They were the hardest; being a mum but not feeling like one. 


This day is tough for so many who are thinking about their own lives right now and how different they would be if their children had survived, their pregnancy had continued or their infertility hadn’t stopped their dreams. 

Women who have lost children.

Women who can’t have children for medical reasons.

Women who have suffered pregnancy loss.

Women who want nothing more than to be a mum but it’s just not happening for them. 

A mother should never have to experience a Mother’s Day without their child, they should not have to wake up on this day feeling even less of a mother than they already do. I can say that from my heart because that’s honestly how I felt the first Mother’s Day after losing Millie and part of me still feels like that today even after having my gorgeous boy. A part of my being a mum will always be missing, no matter how hard I try. 

Mother’s Day is so commercialised that it is everywhere and you cannot avoid it even if you want to and for many that is tough. 

Think about those close to you this weekend that might be struggling a little not having a child with them for whatever reason that may be and drop them a quick text letting them know that you are thinking of them. 

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Millie does it again. 

Dan and I receive a lot of messages on a daily basis and we genuinely do try and respond to anything that is directed personally to us … this message that we received recently had me crying on my sofa at home when I read it. 

Our little girl Millie, (in the pic below,  really is an angel saving lives) 


Messages like this really hit us hard and truly emphasise the original reasons why we set up Millie’s Trust after we lost our precious daughter. 

I don’t have much more to say because I think this mum’s message from Dublin says it all…

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 💕💕💕 This little girl also turned one yesterday … something our daughter never got to do 💕💕💕 

(Message is from early December) 

“This is long…. please bare with me.

I did a Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid course on 21st Nov 2016

Last night, was the worst of my life. But thanks to Millie’s Trust Paediatric First Aid, My night had a happy ending. My 10 month old baby girl, my princess, my world. Stopped breathing after choking on her food. She’s been unwell with a croup for a few days now and a little off her food. The only thing she’s been eating is sloppy breakfast cereal. In the middle of her tea last night she coughed. I saw the food come up in her mouth and braced myself for the reflux of food coming my way (as she has done a few times over the last few days) But that didn’t happen. I wish it did. I saw the food almost vacuum back into her mouth. I expected her to swallow, but she didn’t. He mouth stayed open and she started to gag. I though she was going to be sick. But she didn’t. There was nothing. It was like a silent movie in slow motion. Nothing happened, then she started to go blue. I lifted her from her high chair and put her down my knee with her head in my hand and started smacking her back. Nothing. I turned her over and thrust her sternum (sp?) Once. And once was what it took. Up came the food and she started to vomit. She was gasping for air and coughing. Every cough seemed to make it worse and she couldn’t catch her breath. I called 999 for help, i didnt know if it was all up or uf she needed more help. God love the poor responder who couldn’t get my address because of my acccent and the crying coming from me. Katie laid in my arms for a while whilst the responder monitored her breaths with me. Making sure the blockage was all gone. The fire brigade and paramedics arrived and took her from my arms and gave her the once over while I fell apart crying. The rest was a bit calmer while they checked her airways and made sure she was OK. (She’s was wheezy, but calm. A bit too calm, I wanted her to be kicking and screaming, but she just seemed still) they took her to the hospital to check her over, xrays and observations regularly, to make sure nothing had aspirated into her lungs, and make sure that I hadn’t trapped any air there with my check compression. Thankfully at 1am they released us. She is non the wiser from her ordeal. Mummy & Daddy are wrecks.  But we’re thankful for the knowledge I was given, and pray to God that I never have to use it again. Dr said I saved her life. But I don’t feel good. I just feel sick. I feel completely sick. I urge anyone, with a child / baby of any age. Get a Paediatric First Aid course. Today, tomorrow. Asap. You never know when you or someone you love might need it. I know I sound like an advert. But I don’t even want to think about “what if” 

Please all hug your children a little tighter as I will be doing!! “

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@MILLIELEOSMUM

This was the original review following this lady taking part in our course in Dublin in November.

“Completed a paediatric First Aid course today with Millie’s Trust It was a very detailed course with plenty of explanation, not only on the how, but ‘why’ the First Aid is done the way it is. We were a small group, but that made it more informal and we could relax and enjoy the experience. I hope I never have to use it, but it’s good to know that I have it under my belt with the knowledge that I could help someone. Dan & Joanne are Hero’s. To go through what they have and still have the power to motivate others to educate, they will change the world. And probably saving hundreds of people/children in the process. Will be buying my 1st aid box as it made me realise today how little I have stocked. “

To donate to Millie’s Trust, click here 


To buy our first aid kit, click here 

We would also like to say a huge thank you to The Bridge 1859 in Dublin who donated the venue for this course … without their generous donation of a room this lady might not have been able to attend a course at the time she did and the outcome could have been much different. 

If you are a business who could donate a room for the day to allow Millie’s Trust to run a course at your venue, please get in touch 

To read a previous blog, click here 

READ MORE ABOUT MILLIE’S MARK

Why apply for Millie’s Mark…

Our daughter Millie’s legacy is an amazing thing and we are so proud of Millie’s Mark and what it means to parents. 

We are very thankful to every single person that signed our petition and played a part in making this happen. 

Now is the time to ask YOUR NURSERY to apply.
Today has been the first official panel for Millie’s Mark (after the first 10 awarded in the pilot scheme) and we will soon be able to announce the first nurseries of 2017 that have been awarded. Exciting times 

To hear about why the nursery or pre school that your children go to or that you work in should apply for Millie’s Mark, click here 


To apply for the mark, click here 


Impossible writing 

Wouldn’t it be great if we could each write our own life story. 

How happy we all would be.

You know the scene, fluffy bunny rabbits, cupboards full to bursting with food & drink, friends & family living forever and no money worries.

To be honest, I’m not sure I know anyone who has a completely perfect life. Some like to think they do … but it only takes a split second for all that to change 

I think that you can write your own story to an extent, you can make the choices and decisions which ultimately shape your future and the paths that we take. 

But what we cannot predict is life and death. 

One minute someone is there and the next they are gone.

One minute the light is shining, the next moment it’s pitch black.

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Grief is a unique situation to each and every one of us and there is little point in comparing how one grieves to another. 

There is little point in comparing one situation to another.

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS OF MILLIE’S TRUST CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PARTY

Life is tough, life can be absolutely shit and once again for Dan and I, it is. 

It is absolutely nothing compared to what we have been through with Millie but life is currently throwing us a huge curve ball that is causing us a lot of pain and heartache and when I’m ready, it really is something that I want to blog about to help others but not just yet. 

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We need to keep going. 

We will.

Once again we need to be strong. 

Massive hugs to anyone who is experiencing any type of heartache right now in their lives – huge love to you all.

Be kind to one another because you don’t know what the next person you come across is currently going through. 

But … on another note, we’ve got this little monster keeping us smiling … he wasn’t very impressed with me when I had to wake him up today to go out and refused to move from his cot xxx


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To read my last published blog ANNOYANCE CLICK HERE

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Click here to book tickets to Millie’s Trust Children’s Christmas Party

Four years and counting 

As our darling daughter’s 4th anniversary draws to a close, it still feels like only yesterday when we last held her in our arms for the very last time.

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to help us reach our £4,000 target in Millie’s memory today. 

You cannot imagine the immeasurable pain that you feel when you lose a child, unless you have sadly been through this yourself and for those that haven’t, we would never even want you to try and imagine.

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The hardest part of Millie’s anniversary?
Time.

Every time we look at the clock we are right back in that day and we know exactly what we were doing and who we were with. As I write this now, I know that we were about to leave the hospital after being there for over 7 hours, knowing that instead of coming home with us, our daughter was about to be taken to the mortuary, which is where the next place we saw her would be. 

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to help us reach our £4,000 target in Millie’s memory today. 

At 12.30pm today, I was thinking about how I was being taken to hospital thinking that I was going to see my daughter sat up smiling at me when I walked in, how wrong was I? 

At the same time today, we were arriving at our daughter’s sleeping place with lots of lovely balloons that our lovely friend Jay had once again put together for us, some to stay at Millie’s sleeping place, the others to send to the clouds at the time that she officially passed away, so that Millie could play with them – Leo enjoyed releasing the balloons today and watching them float away.

Time. It doesn’t heal. It’s a lie. People say this to you because they aren’t sure what else to say. It doesn’t get easier and it doesn’t heal – nothing can heal this type of pain, nothing can ever heal the loss of a child. You learn to live with it. You learn to live with your new way of life. 

Our heart goes out to every parent who has ever lost a child, at whatever age.

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to help us reach our £4,000 target in Millie’s memory today. 

It’s very important to us that Leo, Millie’s little brother, grows up knowing everything about her and also that we still always smile so he does too. 


This was him today playing at the park just twenty minutes before we left to visit Millie and get through the saddest time of the day for us. He smiles, we smile; we smile, he smiles. It’s the way that it should be – even on our saddest days. 

To all the parents sadly starting out on this journey, or travelling through this journey a little way behind us; it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to smile, it’s ok to scream. 

In fact. It’s okay to do exactly what you want or need to, to help you along this tragic journey.

Kiss your child good morning, kiss your child goodnight,

We could never have truly guessed what was to come with such a fright.

I never would have thought my heart could break with such a pain,

I never could see through the storms and clouds and the never ending rain.

Four years since you were taken, cruelly snatched in just a minute,

We hugged and kissed and smiled and laughed, we never could have foreseen it.

You were stolen with no warning and taken from us so fast,

I never thought I would survive, I truly thought I wouldn’t last. 

Although we grieve through everyday and miss you with our heart,

We always know, that one day we’ll no longer be apart.

Love mummy, daddy and Leo on your 4th anniversary xxxxx

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070

To donate on Millie’s 4th anniversary.

To read my previous blog, click here

Millie’s Mark: England’s first awarded nurseries 

An extremely proud day for us today and it couldn’t come at a more emotional time of year for us, in the run up to Millie’s anniversary in less than 2 weeks time. 

Click here to apply for Millie’s Mark

After many many years of hard work and campaigning for changes regarding paediatric first aid training in nurseries and pre schools, we are at last very proud to announce on behalf of everyone involved with #milliesmark that the first 10 nurseries to be awarded Millie’s Mark in England are;

HeadStart Day Nursery in Horsham, West Sussex

Happy Tots Preschool Play Group in Ipswich

Little People Nursery in Shepherds Bush, London

Sansway House Day Nursery in Bristol

Elm Cottage, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire

North Cheshire Jewish Nursery in Greater Manchester 

Granby Nursery in Worksop, Nottingham

Cooperative Childcare Newburn in Newcastle Upon Tyne

Nature Trails Day Nursery in Rugby 

Turnbridge Day Nursery in Goole, East Yorkshire

These are the first 10 nurseries in England to be awarded Millie’s Mark and they should be extremely proud at how hard they have worked to ensure that they gained the mark. 

This is now the time to start questioning your nurseries, encourage them to apply for Millie’s Mark and ensure that all their staff are trained in Paediatric First Aid.

If they say no they are not all trained in paediatric first aid, ask them why? #noexcuses

Parents are able to search for their nearest nursery by using the search bar on the new website by clicking here 

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To understand how a nursery can make an application for the mark and to take a look at the rigorous criteria that they have to get through to gain the mark, you can view the Millie’s Mark website by clicking here

Once a nursery/pre school have been awarded the mark, they are given permission to use the logo throughout the nursery (please note that you have to have permission to use this logo from Millie’s Mark).

We very pleased to see this morning that most of these nurseries are now proudly displaying the Millie’s Mark Logo on their websites, so why not pop and along and have a look.

To see full NDNA Press release, click here

We were very honoured to visit one of the nurseries that are local to us this morning, Elm Cottage Orrishmere with NDNA who are administering the mark. 


The children (and staff) had an amazing time meeting Millie the Giraffe. 

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We now really need you guys to go back onto Facebook to the status where you first saw this blog and like and share as much as you can as we need every parent, pre school and nursery to know about Millie’s Mark! 
If you are of the first 10 awarded nurseries, please do send us your photos showing your Millie’s Mark certificate/celebrations on display in your nursery/pre school. You can send them in via Facebook or Twitter or drop us an email to info@milliestrust.com

To listen to my interview on BBC RADIO MANCHESTER THIS MORNING, CLICK HERE

To read an open letter about Millie’s Mark – click here 

Once again, congratulations to the first ten nurseries that have achieved Millie’s Mark, we are so proud of you. 

Letter from us 

This week I wrote an open letter to be featured in media articles about the development of Millie’s Mark. October is so, so hard for us but our daughter’s legacy is happening right now and we could not be prouder.

Please keep reading to see what I wrote. 

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We have very exciting times coming up next week  as we are FINALLY able to reveal which 10 nurseries have been awarded the first 10 Millie’s Mark award in England! We are so very excited about this and cannot wait to show you who they are! 

Here is the short letter. Please like and share and tag any of your parent friends in the Facebook post and let them know about #milliesmark. 

Apply for Millie’s Mark by clicking here.

“All parents want to ensure that their children will be looked after appropriately if an unfortunate accident was to happen. Knowing that all staff working with children in the nursery are trained gives parents that little bit of extra comfort when they have to walk away from the nursery on that emotional first day.


We are extremely pleased that the first 10 nurseries from the pilot scheme have now been awarded Millie’s Mark. This is a fantastic achievement for every single person that signed the original petition.

Above and beyond

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @milliesleosmum – to see who are to be revealed next week.

Working with NDNA, which is delivering the mark, has been a great experience and a positive learning curve for everyone on the team. Together with the DfE, we’ve been able to shape the assessment process that all the settings that sign up have to go through.

NDNA completely understands why Millie’s Mark is such an important thing – not only for us as Millie’s parents, but for thousands of other parents across England.

We are encouraged that so many nurseries are training above and beyond the current legal requirements to meet the stringent and comprehensive criteria of Millie’s Mark, and that first aiders in nurseries are supported to work as teams rather than as individuals to ensure the correct emergency treatment is given. We look forward to seeing Millie’s Mark appearing in more nurseries throughout England in the coming months.”

So as you can see, what I wrote was short and sweet but what I wrote pretty much sums it up. 

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This Mark is such an important development for the childcare sector and this sets the standard for what parents should be looking for – 100% trained staff, no excuses. There shouldn’t be any excuses because anyone who works with children should want the best for them and should know how to look after them if something was to happen.

Don’t forget to come back next week to find out who the first 10 nurseries are! 

Once we can reveal, we will announce on Facebook, Twitter and this blog! 

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Please note that the Millie’s Mark Logo is trademarked and is only able for use by awarded establishments



For more information, visit http://www.milliestrust.com or follow @Milliestrust
You can also visit http://www.milliesmark.com