Tag Archives: Millie

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

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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. 

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“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 

Millie’s Mark is officially launched 

I don’t normally blog about what’s going on with the charity at all – as the blog is my personal journey outside of what we do with Millie’s Trust big today’s official announcement from the government is far too important not to blog about and it is of course part of our personal journey! 

Many of you guys at the back end of 2013 and throughout 2014 made the effort to sign the petition that we started following Millie’s Inquest – to raise the standards of paediatric first aid in nursery. 

You guys were fabulous and over 103,000 people signed our petition, which triggered a debate which in turn led to the announcement of Millie’s Mark and a change in paediatric first aid with regards to newly qualified staff and we have been waiting for so many months to finally be able to talk properly about it and TODAY IS THE DAY!! 

This morning Minister Sam Gyimah formally announced the creation of Millie’s Mark at a conference that I am about (nerves of steel here) to speak at. (3pm on Friday 1st of July – if you’re reading this blog after that time, I’ve already spoken 😀).

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This is is it!!! This is official logo of Millie’s Mark – going forward this is what parents need to be looking for in nurseries to ensure staff are trained in paediatric first aid.

Please note this logo is trademarked and is NOT ALLOWED to be used on a premises without the nursery applying for  and achieving the mark 

Please note this logo is trademarked and is NOT ALLOWED to be used on a premises without the nursery applying for and achieving the mark 

Below is the official photo of the announcement – this is a new mascot, called Millie and if you look closely on her t-shirt, you can see the official logo for the Mark. 


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We have worked so hard to make this a reality and a legacy for our daughter, that today seems a bit surreal and I am sure that when we launch the first awarded nursery it will feel even more surreal. (The Pilot scheme is currently taking place and we are very close to announcing the first nurseries to receive the mark and then it will be open to any nursery in England to apply) 

This has been an emotional day for us and I just have to hold it together for my speech now, wish me luck! 

“We are so proud of our daughter, as is Leo of his big sister xxxx”

More to come later …

Xxx

Official Press Release. 

NEW ‘GOLD STANDARD’ IN PAEDIATRIC FIRST AID LAUNCHED FOR EARLY YEARS SETTINGS IN MEMORY OF BABY

 A new initiative to help improve paediatric first aid training in early years settings has been launched today by Education and Childcare Minister, Sam Gyimah in memory of a nine month old girl who tragically died in 2012.

 Millie Thompson passed away after choking on her lunch while at nursery in Stockport. Since her death, Millie’s parents – Joanne and Dan – have campaigned for a new ‘gold standard’ certificate to be created in recognition of early years childcare providers that train all their staff in paediatric first aid, going above and beyond the minimum legal requirements

The quality mark – which has been developed by the Department for Education, National Day Nursery Association (NDNA) and the Thompsons – will be known as ‘Millie’s Mark’ and will help to give parents assurance that every staff member that cares for their child is trained in these important, life-saving skills.

 Speaking at the NDNA annual conference in Milton Keynes, Mr Gyimah will call on nurseries and other early years providers to apply for the quality mark so that as many members of staff are trained in paediatric first aid as possible.

“As a parent myself, I know there is nothing more important than the safety and security of our children. We trust the staff looking after them will have the right training should anything happen while they are in their care.

 “That’s why I’m pleased to announce that the Department for Education has awarded the National Day Nursery Association the contract to deliver a voluntary quality mark for nursery providers that have trained all of their staff in paediatric first aid.

 “I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Millie’s parents, Joanne and Dan, who have campaigned tirelessly in their daughter’s memory to reduce the chances of such tragic accidents happening in future. It is hoped that, over time, this initiative will help ensure that as many staff members as possible are trained in these important, life-saving skills.

“I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with NDNA and Millie’s parents, and to seeing the early years providers that go over and above to help keep our children safe.” SG 

  Also speaking at the conference, Joanne Thompson

“Millie’s Mark is a direct outcome of our campaign as parents, for parents. Following the loss of our darling daughter Millie, we strive to encourage nurseries to be exemplary in paediatric first aid practice and we are looking forward to seeing the first Millie’s Mark being awarded later in the year.”

 NDNA Chief Executive, Purnima Tanuku OBE, said:

“We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to develop and deliver Millie’s Mark. We believe passionately that it will make a difference in keeping children safe.

“Millie’s Mark will soon be well-known to parents all over the country as a clear indicator of the highest standards in keeping children safe from harm.  

“Seeing that a nursery has achieved Millie’s Mark will help parents make informed decisions when they are choosing childcare and it will be great for nurseries to show how serious they are about providing the best services possible.”

 From summer 2016, early years settings in England will be eligible to apply to be accredited with this unique quality mark that will provide parents with the assurance that their child is being cared for by safe and knowledgeable staff. The quality mark will be in addition to the existing statutory requirements for paediatric first aid that all early years providers must meet as a legal requirement.

A total of 10 nurseries, chosen from more than 200 applicants, have been taking part in a pilot to thoroughly test the new standards that settings will be required to demonstrate. These nurseries will be the first to receive Millie’s Mark.  

 Alongside the launch of ‘Millie’s Mark’ the government has today published our response to the consultation on changing the paediatric first aid requirements in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. The majority of those who responded were in favour of increasing the number of paediatric first aiders in early years settings. 

So, from this September, all newly qualified level 2 and level 3 staff must also have either a full paediatric first aid certificate or an emergency paediatric first aid certificate to count in the required staff:child ratios. This will mean an extra 15,000 staff a year coming into the sector with paediatric first aid training, providing vital reassurance to parents that their children will be well cared for, particularly in an emergency. Paediatric first aid training has also been shown to increase safety awareness, so reducing the likelihood of accidents occurring and staff confidence especially when helping children with complex medical needs.”

Millie and Leo

Leo and I had a lovely day in the sun today whilst daddy was at home putting some wallpaper up 😀

After a great park visit and before a shopping trip to buy daddy’s birthday presents, we headed on down to visit Millie. 


This is as close as we will ever get to our children playing together (with their grandpa also – that’s the headstone at the other side of Leo). 

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The reason I’m showing this? 

I’m showing you that it’s ok.

It’s okay to take children to cemeteries and let them grow up understanding that yes they are a place of sadness, but they should also understand that they are a place full of love and not somewhere to be scared of.

Leo spent most of the time today getting me to blow bubbles and putting everything else that Millie has at her sleeping place in and out of pots (he seems to like cleaning up – that’s a good sign 😉) 

I know that some people won’t agree with us taking Leo there and treating Millie’s place as a normal place to go – and that’s fine, it’s my choice and that’s yours.

We want Leo to grow up understanding that he can talk to his big sister, she might not be able to speak back but I want it to be a place where he is comfortable and relaxed at; and we know it will be. 

That’s it really – just a short but little blog for you this evening xxx

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the sun today, we certainly have! X 

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Would you torch your most traumatic memories? 

If anyone has picked up Cosmopolitan magazine recently there’s an interesting article in it titled just that. I read it with great interest and it’s probably going to split the reader audience into two groups.

According to Cosmo “scientists predict that within the next five years we could eviscerate our most painful memories” 

I’m pretty much sure that you think I am going to say yes I would. I’m not actually sure myself as I write this.

Yes. Of course I would give anything for what happened to Millie not to have happened to her. 

Yes. I wish I didn’t have to see my daughter in a morgue or a coffin.

Yes. I do wish that I could turn back time and not put her in that place and keep her at home with us.

So. Ideally going off the above statements; yes, I would like to torch my most traumatic memories…but then it gets complicated… Or does it? 

You see. If I torched my most traumatic memories from my life then we wouldn’t have Leo. If I torched them, we wouldn’t see his beautiful smile every day or hear his infectious giggle. But if we torched my memories… Then we would have Millie back and be living a normal life? Wouldn’t we? 

Ah, now, you see; I’m not too sure. 

You see, I’m a big believer in when you are born, whether you like it or not, the day that you will pass from this world to the next is already written in the stars. I think we are given the choices to so many things in life that eventually lead to our death but we ultimately arrive there on the date that was scheduled by us. Not by God, I might add, as I am not a believer. 

Which job should I take? Which man/woman shall I marry? Which house should we buy? What town should we live in? Should I take a promotion or travel the world? Shall I buy a white car or a black one? Shall I get the bus to work or drive? So, so many decisions to make in your life, a life that is made up of so many twists and turns of which ultimately you control your destiny of how you get there but not the time it all ends.

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Torching traumatic memories I don’t personally think would necessarily work. For example torching the traumatic memories of what happened to Millie? It doesn’t actually change the fact of that matter that Millie is still gone does it? It doesn’t change the fact that like today on this gorgeous sunny day I have had to visit our daughter at the cemetery and the only presents I can really buy her now are flowers and balloon? How would that work then? The traumatic memories are erased yet there is then a huge big black gaping hole in your memory that would surely confuse me as to how I would have gone from hugging my daughter the last time I saw her to visiting her at a cemetery? Surely that cannot be good for anyone’s mental health? 

Referring back to the article, discussing the disappearance of the journalist’s Guinea pig in 1985 (as luckily for her this seems to be one of her most traumatic memories) actually made me sit aghast thinking maybe the article firstly, should have featured opinions of people who have been through a lot more traumatic events like the loss of a child, or the devastation of 9/11 or the pain of going through a life crippling illness and secondly that to me are actual real traumatic events because if the science was used to “torch” the memory of a lost Guinea Pig, I would be pretty annoyed at whoever performed it! 

Maybe, just maybe, this is one thing that science should stay out of. You cannot forget here that the things that you experience in life has an effect on you as a person and ultimately makes you the person you are – something of which I don’t think that science should interfere in. 

So in reference to myself and going back to the original question? How do you honestly make that decision? Effectively choosing between my children. Except would I be? As I said earlier, erasing the traumatic memories of what happened to Millie wouldn’t make Millie come back and Leo would still be here albeit his mother (me) would be constantly confused about where my daughter is as I would now have a huge big black memory hole as to where she had gone and how …

I am now actually genuinely confusing myself writing this blog! 🙄🤔😟

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this one! 

Update from Leo: 

Mummy took me for a walk the other day because it was sunny and daddy had gone out for a verrrryyyy long run because he’s in training for that long London run, what was it called again? 

Well, we came home and he was in MY BATH. I couldn’t believe it, he was in there with all my bubbles and there I was just stood at the side of the bath with mummy! Well I’m not sure what was going on but I’m certainly not used to seeing daddy in the bath covered in my bubbles. Actually, why doesn’t he smell funny if he doesn’t have baths like me?

He told mummy that he was broken after his 18 mile run. I don’t know how far that it is, but it must be a long way if it broke him, does that mean that he is broken like when I broke my toy the other week? 

Love Leo xxx
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If you want to read the full Cosmo article, pick  up the April 2016 edition. 

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  “Click here to buy me in pink or blue”

Dear Millie 

Dear Millie,

     At 8.32pm 4 years ago today you came into this world after I had spent most of my labour reading Alan Sugar’s autobiography as a distraction and darling you absolutely changed our lives forever, you truly showed us what it is to love. Just 9 months later, this world cruelly took you from us. 
 
TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on Millie’s 4th Birthday (£4 can be changed to anything between £1 and £10)
I cherish every moment that we got to spend with you, I have every smile and every little giggle locked away in special little box in my head that when it is silent and peaceful, I can tune into it and I can hear you, I can Millie, I can really hear you giggle.
You taught me how to be a mum, you showed me how much love was inside me that I never knew that I had, you taught me never to be scared of anything new.

When I became your mum, the minute I found out I was pregnant, you changed my life. The thought of being a mum absolutely petrified me but when you came along you taught me that yes it could be scary, but also that it could be so much fun. 

We told you all about the world and where we wanted to take you as you grew up, we wondered what you were going to be when you were older and whether you would go to ballet (pretty sure that you wouldn’t have done) or whether you would have preferred karate or street dance (pretty sure that you would have preferred this as your alternative) 

We had started talking about your first birthday and what we could and even chose the main present (a trike) that we were going to get you …. WHAM…You were taken, you left this world a lot more quickly than it took you to enter it and we didn’t get a second of a warning that our world was going to be turned upside down and smashed into tiny little pieces. 

Today, we have had our lovely friend Jay, create some very special balloons for your  birthday but for you resting place because  we aren’t going to get to see you play with them.

Instead of wrapping up your dollies, pretend pram and, you know what, that’s the problem, right now, I don’t even know what a 4 year old little girl gets for her birthday, I’m just guessing because I know you’ve seen what we bought you for your birthday, flowers – bloody flowers. 

What parent wants to buy their 4 year old daughter a bouquet of flowers for their birthday? I’ll tell you which ones … Absolutely none of them but it’s the only thing that seems suitable for your sleeping place, one of the only things that can brighten the place up, for a few days, until they die because of the weather and then we have to keep buying more because it is the only thing that we can do for you, keep your sleeping place looking as pretty as we can. 

We would do anything to have you back in our lives Millie, to let you meet your little brother Leo and play on the living room floor together and watch you argue like brothers and sisters are meant to. But we can’t, there is nothing we can do – there’s absolutely nothing that we can do to change this or what has happened.

 
What I want you to know Millie though is that every year we will be there, we will be at your resting place with flowers and more balloons and your little brother Leo wishing you a happy birthday and sending kisses to the clouds and we’ll be there again on your birthday evening to look up to the stars and wish you good night and we really hope that you feel the love that we have for you and feel the miss that we have in our hearts for you. 

We love you more and more everyday and cherish the moments that we had. 

Happy 4th Birthday our sweet little girl,

Love mummy & daddy xxx

TEXT MILL04 £4 to 70070 to support Millie’s Trust on Millie’s 4th Birthday (£4 can be changed to anything between £1 and £10)
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Christmas is coming …

It’s been a very strange and tough old couple of weeks in the run up to Christmas for us.

We haven’t celebrated Christmas since we lost Millie, which only actually means that Dan and I have only actually  celebrated Christmas together just twice since we got together nearly 6 years ago. When you think about it like that, it seems quite strange.

We spent the first couple of years together with Dan’s family which was lovely at the time but when Millie came along, we really wanted just to have our own little family Christmas at home as our little family – but we never got that. We only got as far as buying Millie some presents – but she never got them as we lost her before we got chance to have a Christmas together. So this year, we are giving Leo these special presents specifically from Millie, they are wrapped in different wrapping paper to everything else for him because they are off his Angel sister.  

(Millie’s presents for Leo -we  ran out of white snowflake so had to use white robin for the last one)

It’s been one hard step after another this week. In my last blog, I talked about how we had managed to put a Christmas tree up, which I’m glad we did because Leo absolutely loves the lights and watches them all the time. 

Many of you have also previously read about how we took Leo to meet Santa and visit the reindeer (read that blog here) so that we had those extra special memories for us and to have photos for Leo to look back on. So you see, as hard as it is, we keep trying … We keep pushing ourselves, for Leo. 

 

We made the decision earlier in the month that we weren’t going to give presents to anyone this year and asked people not to buy them us (they of course could for Leo, if they wanted to and he has been totally spoilt) but Dan and I have been finding it hard enough to deal with buying Leo presents for the past couple of months and trying to bring some Christmas into our home. I’m pretty sure everyone has understood why we have made this decision. To not celebrate for 3 years and then to suddenly have to do it again for Leo has been tough, it’s been really tough but we knew that we needed to do it and more so whilst he is little because the biggest thing for me was that I didn’t want to look back and remember his “first” Christmas wasn’t how it should have been and how Millie’s would have been. He deserves his first treasured Christmas and so do we to be honest.

These memories flashed up on my Facebook this morning, so you can see I actually used to love Christmas …

  
But I’ve hated it ever since we lost Millie but this year it’s a little different because we have Leo and I can’t wait to see how he reacts tomorrow morning. I’m not excited for me, but I’m happy for Leo that he is going to get his 1st Christmas because when he was born I still wasn’t certain that we would be doing it this year. 

A mum I know, who lost her gorgeous boy in 2008 and has since gone on to have another equally gorgeous boy told me that as bittersweet as it is , her younger son is so excited that she is now looking forward to the day – she gives me hope that further down the line, that I’ll start to feel the same – to have real feeling for Christmas again.

We’ve gotten Leo in the Christmas spirit today with his clothing and of course taken obligatory photographs … How could we not?

We’ve not done much at all today, in fact Dan has been painting the hallway whilst I’ve been chopping the veg for tomorrow! 

I’m sure that the next couple of years will change things at Christmas for us even more so as Leo learns what all the excitement is about and gets excited about Santa coming but the choices we have made for this Christmas are just enough to make some lovely memories to look back on. 

So this evening, we’ve got our Santa plate ready except in our house Santa has a Disaronno waiting for him to keep him warm on his travels 😀 and a chocolate biscuit as our Santa fancies a change from a mince pie when he reaches our house. (Neither Dan or I can stand mince pies). We also all have our brand new pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve …  and all Millie’s thing ready and waiting to take down to her sleeping place in the morning when we wake up. We’ve already headed on down there about an hour ago to put new christmas lights up and light some lovely candles for her on Christmas Eve – this is somethimg special we can always do for her. 😍

 (Millie Moo X) 

I’d just like a couple of thoughts here for everyone who has a lost loved one to remember at Christmas but more so all the parents out there that are missing their precious child/ren on Christmas Day. Unfortunately most of you will know someone who has lost a child, just take two seconds right now to send them a text and let them know that you are thinking of them and remembering their children – I promise they will appreciate it so much ❤️❤️❤️

So, let’s see what Christmas Day brings for us and we would like to wish you all a very  merry Christmas and hope you all have an amazing day xxx

  
 
Love the Thompsons xxx (in our Christmas pyjamas) 

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***Please note the Millie’s Trust shop will be back online after New Year***