My warrior princess Emili – Kelley Donald


In May 2000, after a very shitty few months (my divorce had finalized, i had a break down, and my mum got “short term” custody of my kids, Morgen-Louise and Carl-Keith ) i had moved in with my best friend Fraser. Fraser was my everything, best friend, big brother, soul mate etc one night Fraser decided that he was dragging me out for the night, something we hadn’t done in a long time. As the evening wore on, the more drunk we got, shot and a mixer at 40p a go…. yup easy done.

As we were up at the bar ordering more drinks, this guy walked in, loud shirt, but an amazing smile. Fraser and i looked at each other, i knew where this was going. “£20 says he bats for my side” Yes Fraser was gay, hence why my “perfect man” wasn’t for me.

There was something about the guy in the shirt, and with the copious amounts of vodka i had the balls to talk to him, and talk, he walked me home (with frasers blessing) and we talked, and before we knew it, it was 5am. From then we spent every spare minute together, there was an age gap, i was 23, he was 42, but that didn’t bother us. on the 5th of June we had his best friends wedding at a posh hotel, we got very drunk and somehow thought it was a good idea to use “our protection” as water balloons off the room balcony. Really shouldn’t have been shocked when 5 weeks later i was throwing up.


I had so many mixed feelings, scared, happy, angry at myself, we had only been together weeks. took me another two weeks to build up the courage to tell him, i had it all planned, a nice home cooked meal, just me and him, no phones, no distractions. But he beat me to it with his own bomb shell, he had been offered his dream promotion with his job, but it meant moving to Norway, in 3 weeks. he looked so alive, and this had been his dream long before he met me. he started excitedly talking about where we would live, the house, the office etc.


I couldn’t leave because of my kids, but i couldn’t be the one to take everything away from him, so i decided not to tell him, instead we decided that we were going to make the last of our last 3 weeks together, but we had no future, my choice not his. he moved away and i got on with life, got my own place and more often than not had a bed at the local hospital, i had severe sickness and kept dehydrating myself. on the 2nd of December i hadn’t felt right all day and had been getting pains in my stomach. during a call to a friend i had mentioned it, she suggested that i call my midwife, i put it down to wind and went to work in the evening. about 10pm i got a huge shooting pain across my tummy, it almost floored me so i went to the office to sit down, by 10.30 my work mate found me doubled in pain almost screaming, and called an ambulance. when i got to the hospital they were all talking over each other, medical terms, and before i knew it i was hooked up to all sorts of machines and coming towards me with paperwork to sign for a section there and then. no way i was only 25 weeks and 6 days, not happening!!! after what seemed a lifetime the dr got angry with me, and actually told me “just shut the fuck up and sign the form, if not u are going to die, and so is ur baby” i signed it. Emili was born on the 3rd December 00.03 at exactly 26 weeks weighing just 1lb 3oz, she was tiny but perfect.


The Dr explained to me that he was sorry he had lost it with me, but my placenta had ruptured and i was minutes from death. all was forgiven. when emili was 12 days old i noticed a swelling in her tummy, her bowel had ruptured, and she was rushed off to theater and a colostomy bag fitted. we had her christened the following day. on xmas eve i had left the hospital at 7pm, i had to get home and get the presents wrapped for the other 2, as i started to wrap the first present the phone rang, i was told to get up to the hospital asap, emili was in a bad way.


I grabbed my best friend and got there to find them resuscitating my tiny little princess, they got her stable and i was given time with her. i sat the whole night by her incubator, her tiny little hand wrapped round the tip of my little finger. at 8am on xmas morning, her dr came to talk to me and explained that in emilis 22 short days, in total her brain had been starved of oxygen for a total of 17 and a half minutes, she wouldn’t have a great quality of life IF she pulled through.

He asked me to consider turning my daughter’s life support off, so here i was, alone, on xmas morning, while my other 2 kids were opening presents with granny and grandpa, i was being asked to let my new baby’s life end. the decision was made, her tubes and wires and monitors were all finally removed, and i finally got to hold my daughter for the first time. it was 12.00 xmas lunch time. by 1pm she was clearly struggling to breath, i held her closer and whispered “mummy loves you so much, you can stop hurting sweet pea, stop fighting, mummy is so proud of you my amazing girl, you go to sleep” she opened her eyes for the first time ever, her eyes were the darkest brown, almost black, she smiled at me, closed her eyes and took her final ragged breath it was 2pm xmas day.


My world ended, i was sure people hundreds of miles away could hear my heart shatter as my daughter passed away in my arms, during what was my only ever cuddle with her

the next few days i couldn’t cry, i had to register her birth and her death on the same day. i really don’t remember much about her funeral apart from the fact her dad had been there. he had been home visiting family for xmas and had heard, he didn’t know she was his, he had genuinely just wanted to be there for me. as the years passed i heard it will get better over time, time’s a healer. some days my heart doesn’t feel that. there have been days i felt i can’t go on, i still get them, but i can honestly say that since joining dwa i’m never alone x



About Daddys with Angels.

We began as a group for grieving fathers and men in families, but other family members asked to join us. We now also have a group for Families with Angels dads and other male family members and siblings under 18. We have experienced and live with the harsh pain of loss and we hope we can bring other comfort with what we do, To find us please search for us on face book or Hugs to you all and floaty kisses to all your angels. We retain the name Daddys With Angels.
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