Alaina was born in 1990 and was a lovely healthy baby of 9lb 3oz. The delivery was fast, with no pain relief – in fact the nurses were stunned as I laughed though most of it. Fifty minutes later she was here. From day one she wanted to see and listen – always wanting to know about things. As she got older she knew facts we did not, and would put us to shame when she knew stuff.
She is the youngest of three. Kelly is her older sister who will be twenty in March, and Craig, her brother, was eighteen in November. Me and Carl have been happily married for twenty one years, and we live in a new four bedroom property that we have made our home.
Alaina has her own room and loved to go and use her computer and put on loud music as soon as she came home from school. We always had our evening meal together as a family, and we would talk for ages, laughing about the day's events or past events.
Alaina had joined the band at school, and she loved to play the drums. She would play concerts at other schools and jazz concerts at her school. She had been in the band for just over a year and loved every minute. Alaina would always show her affections with great big hugs and kisses – she loved to be loved, and gave so much back. She had a real bubbly personality, laughing all the time.
When she walked into a room it would light up. If anyone was down she would comfort them and cheer them up. Her friends at school all say the same thing – Alaina would be there for you, and helped other kids that had been bullied at school. Her teachers thought she was a lovely, helpful child, who was full of life and enjoyed talking on her favourite subjects.
Her ambition was to be a pilot in the R.A.F. She was so excited about the prospect of being a pilot that we were going to get her flying lessons for her sixteenth birthday.
Alaina had just met a young man called Matty – they had only been seeing each other for three weeks, but they were great together. He is a lovely lad, and he still comes to visit and talks to Alaina in her room. She had a lot of close friends that have been really supportive of our family.
Alaina and I went to the hairdressers together the week before, and she had long straight hair but she thought it was time for it to go. So she had what she called her 'rock chick cut' – short and spiky on top and longer at the bottom; some blond highlights. She looked ace.
It was the 15th of October 2005 and Alaina had just said goodnight to her boyfriend. At 9.30pm she came and sat in the lounge with us. Craig came home from work, and they had some Maltesers – they thought it would be funny to lay on the floor and blow them from their mouths and try and keep them up in the air as long as possible – we laughed loads. At 10.30 she said, "I am tired. I have got school in the morning, I'm off to bed". She gave us a big kiss and cuddle – 'love you lots, see you in the morning'.
It was 7.00am when the alarm went off in our room as my husband is a shift worker. He was at home so I said, "I will go and wake Alaina for school". "OK" he said, so I went into her room and said her name. She was a light sleeper, but she did not answer – again and again. My heart sank, so I touched her legs as the quilt was pushed back just as I have mine. As I touched her I screamed "Carl, she's dead".
She was so cold. I ran to the phone whilst Carl, Craig and Kelly got her onto the landing and started C.P.R. The ambulance took fifteen minutes to get to our house – or it felt like that long. Carl and the kids tried so hard. The paramedics took over – they filled her full of drugs to 'shut down her body' is what they said. I was in total shock; Kelly was crying and going mad. Carl and Craig followed the ambulance to the Hospital. As they left the house I gave a Alaina a big kiss and said 'goodbye'. Somehow deep down I just new she had gone. Carl said the staff at the hospital tried for ages to bring her back, but to no avail.
He and Craig came back by themselves, absolutely distraught. I then rang all the family and close friends; and walked around smoking and drinking coffee not knowing what had just happened until later that morning when we had to go back to the hospital and identify my baby girl. I just flipped, and had a bit of crisis – throwing things and broke down. I still cannot believe this has happened to our lovely family. We were all so happy, had a good life – all my children have been blessed with good looks and a sense of humour.
And you think, "What have we done to deserve this tragic loss?"
The following days were the hardest in my life. Going to see your child in the morgue is unthinkable. We also had to have the police around as we had no idea why this had happened. All we could think off is she had choked on her own sick – what else could you think? But the police wanted to go in her room and ask questions – was she being bullied? Had she fallen out with us or her boyfriend? I know they have a job to do, but its awful at the time. Then we were told they would have to a post mortem.
I just wanted her back, but we couldn't have her until the tests were done. Thankfully we have a really nice coroner, and he pulled out all the stops so she could be released to the funeral director, who again was really understanding and made every effort to have her with them.
I had taken Alaina to the doctors three weeks earlier with a throat infection. She was so poorly, and the doctor gave her penicillin, which she took and finished the dose on the morning of her fifteenth birthday. She was full of excitement, and had not complained anymore about her throat or anything else. She would walk two miles to school and back again – four miles a day, not many teenagers can be bothered to do that. The only thing she would complain about would be the weight of her school bag as she would have so many books.
Alaina absolutely loved life and life loved her up until this sad day. How I will live without her I just don't know, but I know I had a very special daughter that I shared so many things with. Even at the tender age of fifteen she was so understanding and caring to her family, she was my friend and soul mate, we are so much alike – "two peas in a pod".
I have to try and carry on for my other two children who have been a great support to me and my husband, and they have been lucky to have really special partners of their own that have been their for them. My husband has been a great support – we have a strong marriage and we lean on each other and share each others shoulders.