Keely's story

Keely Blows Full Story Image

I wish you knew the depth of love and longing I carry for my daughter, Tallulah Irish, who was with us for just 19 days after being born by emergency caesarean in November 2013. A scan of her brain revealed extensive damage incompatible with life and she received end-of-life care at Milton.

It’s the hardest day to look back on, trying to read between the lines and moving so quickly between hope, despair and distress at seeing all the tubes and wires. That evening our world completely collapsed around us, when the doctors told us there was nothing they could do. They said she had minutes, hours or maybe days to live.

When she made it through the night, we decided to be together as a family at the hospice for the time she had left and I can’t imagine going through that period of our lives without EACH.


Tallulah lived her days warm in someone’s arms at almost all times, surrounded by the voices and love of her family. The nurses were always there if we needed them. There was always someone on hand to speak to.

We felt warmth from the moment we walked through the doors and the care and support we received was unbelievable – from playing with our son to making memorable items we could keep forever, cooking our meals and preparing us for the future. Milton felt like a second home and the staff like friends. We truly believe the love and support she received kept her with us and being at the hospice gave us the opportunity to say both hello and goodbye, focusing on those precious days as a family of four. Strangely, I’ve got special memories, even in the worst of times.

Milton gave us so many opportunities to do things that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise, including lots of memory-making. We’ve always said how we could never imagine those weeks without the support of the hospice. The stress and fear would have overridden any chance to make the most of her precious life. The outcome would have been the same but, this way, there were no regrets.

Our most treasured memory was when, after realising we wouldn’t be able to spend Christmas together as a family, the staff arranged for Father Christmas to visit Tallulah and her big brother, Teddy. Seeing his face was priceless. We were also given a tree to decorate and hung Christmas lights. The four of us would lay under those lights at night, cuddled together, and they’re memories we’ll have forever. Those three weeks allowed us to get to know our daughter, while at the same time saying goodbye. EACH gave us the gift of time together and you can’t put a price on that.

EACH remains a hugely special charity to our family and myself and my husband, Curtis, have become committed fundraisers, raising in the region of £40,000. Lots of people know what happened with Tallulah. They know us, as a family, and are always keen to get involved to do what they can to support our fundraising. We’re fortunate to have big families and lots of great friends, who always get behind us.

The support from our community has always amazed us and we’re so proud of the impact Tallulah’s life has had in raising awareness of EACH. The fundraising has given us a focus and a way to come together as a family to remember her. We still talk about her all the time. I’ve always been very open and certainly don’t want her name to be a taboo. I’d hate anyone to avoid talking about her in case it upsets me. It’s not always easy but I certainly won’t ever let her be forgotten.

Keely Blows, Tallulah Irish’s mum

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