When Katie was born and we knew she was ill, we said we wanted to go back home to Cardiff, if the baby was well enough to go home. We didn’t know too much about Tŷ Hafan at the time.
They brought us back from Bristol in an ambulance with the baby, as ill as she was. We came here to Tŷ Hafan. The room we were staying in was just down here. Walking down here I’ve got mixed emotions, all the feelings we went through then. It was a really sad time for me and the family because the baby was so ill and we didn’t know what was going to happen.
We didn’t know how long we were going to be here and what we were going to do – we couldn’t make any plans because we didn’t know how long or how short a time we had. Our mind-set was all about worry.
My daughter would have been six now. Every time we come here there’s always that same emotion. I can still see her in my arms and how I was talking to her before anything happened. And then she took her final breath. I just didn’t know what to do at the time. Regardless of how much time passes it’s always going to be there in my head.
I didn’t know what to do at the time. But meeting the other people here takes the burden off you.
Even from when she was born, Katie was very feisty! She was only small when she was born, 6lb 2oz, and a bundle of joy for us. She didn’t cry too much, considering she had tubes all over her, in her nose and her mouth. One night they let us have the baby in our room and we could take her out of her cot. We did that once and when we tried to put her back in the cot she started crying, then as soon as we picked her up again she stopped, so she knew she was going to get spoiled. She had us wrapped around her little finger from the start!
My other daughter is five now and she talks about her older sister even though she never met her. She’s getting to that age now where she knows who Katie was and what happened to her. She even talks about her sister in school and she’ll mention her name when she’s playing with her dolls.
It’s six years since my daughter left us. We still do our thing every year – on the anniversary of the day she passed, the whole family celebrate Katie and do what we would do if she was alive for her birthday.
Every year we do a fundraising event for Tŷ Hafan to say thank you and raise money. The event is for families so everyone can have a fun time. It makes us feel a bit better because we are doing it in our daughter’s name and saying thank you to Tŷ Hafan. It means a lot to me and my wife. We enjoy doing it.
I will talk about Katie any day of the week to anybody. I’ve got emotional in the past, but it doesn’t make a difference if I get emotional talking about her anymore. I’m going through that raw emotion when I’m talking about her.
She’s always going to be involved with us and our lives – and that’s mostly thanks to Tŷ Hafan.