Hi, I am Debbie, the very proud mum of Sara. Sara was my first born. She was born in Oxford to myself and Mark. I divorced and returned to Prescot, Merseyside, where I met Eamonn. Sara and Eamonn got on so well right from the start as she was an endearing child and so easy to fall in love with.
I have two more children, Stephanie now aged 14, and a son Christopher aged 12. The three of them got on so well together. In fact, they are the only two reasons I have for getting up in the mornings. I know that if I didn’t have them, then I would honestly have given up by now.
On 18th March 2009, Eamonn, myself and Sara visited Liverpool University, for an open day. She was in perfect health that day and was so, so happy for her future.
Sara felt unwell that night, but I was out for my birthday, with my friend Joanne, in Liverpool. She never phoned to complain, just carried on with her course work for college. I went to her room that night to give her paracetamol and lucozade, but Sara still didn’t tell me how ill she felt. I went into Sara’s room the next morning and she said that she didn’t feel too good. I asked for ten minutes to see to Steph and Chris, and I would be back upstairs to see to her.
Sara got up and turned the shower on and collapsed in the bathroom, and the reality of our nightmare began. Within hours of reaching hospital, we were told that Sara was ‘gravely ill’. Those words will haunt me for the rest of my life. Sara never complained or made a fuss, even though she knew that she was seriously ill. Her beautiful eyes locked onto mine. We were both terrified, but we never said a word to each other. I didn’t want her to hear the fear in my voice, and I think Sara felt the same. The last words that she ever said to me were, “I’ve had enough now, please Mum.” I’ll never know what she meant by those words.
Sara was put on life support and within eleven hours of arrival at hospital, she was gone forever. I held her until her heart stopped beating and life had left her little body. Sara died of pneumococcal septicaemia. A massive part of me died with Sara that night. The pain and heartache of losing ‘Our Beautiful Sara’ is unbearable. I am grieving more for the life that she has lost.
Sara was only eighteen two weeks earlier, and had only been driving for three weeks. She was overjoyed driving her little red Fiesta. All of my hopes and dreams for Sara have gone. I thought that I was just about to set her free on the path of life, but instead for Sara, it had come to an end.
Sara lived every minute of every day to the full. In fact she embraced life so much, that two of the rules that she lived by were ‘build a bridge and get over it’ and ‘you could be dead tomorrow’. How ironic?
She was extremely well travelled and one of her many dreams in life, was to ride a Harley Davidson across Route 66. And I know that she would have done this one day, and squealed with excitement the whole way.
Sara had complained as a young child that she had not been given a gift in life. That everybody is good at something and she thought that she wasn’t. But in fact she was. I noticed that Sara could love unconditionally. She made everybody feel special in her unique way. She was never pretentious and showed great empathy and understanding towards others, for a child of her years. She cared deeply for others, always putting them first, and laughed her way right through life. She was a friend to everybody and the best daughter and sister you could ever wish for. Aren’t these the greatest gifts of all?
Sara will be sorely missed by so many, as she had such a great impact on many people’s lives. I hope that people follow her example in life, as she has been an inspiration to us and those who knew her.
I am envious of the people that surround her now, in her knew life, for our immense loss is their gain.
Her college friends have set up a facebook appreciation site, were hundreds of people (961 members to date), have left messages of love and memories they have for Sara.
Two friends, Lee Simpson and Paul Braithwaite, are to cycle from London to Paris over three days in September, in Sara’s memory. All sponsorship and donations will go to Sara’s chosen charity, Zoe’s Place. See www.justgiving/london22paris