‘I don’t want Tiegan’s death to be in vain’ – Knebworth mum strives to help others after two-year-old daughter loses leukaemia battle
- Credit: Archant
The mother of a two-year-old girl who died from leukaemia is working hard to support families who have a seriously ill child in hospital.
Emma Sheffield, from Knebworth, thought her eight-month-old daughter Tiegan may have been suffering from hayfever when she woke one morning in June 2010 and had puffy eyes and was breathing rapidly.
But a trip to the doctors led to Tiegan being admitted to hospital, where Emma learned that her beautiful little girl had acute myeloid leukaemia.
Tiegan spent much of the rest of her little life in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where she died in October 2011 – shortly after her second birthday.
Emma said: “It was the worst day of our lives and we have never gone a day since where we don’t think of her and miss her.
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“Tiegan was a happy, bright little girl whose smile could light a room. Throughout, she remained the happy beautiful girl we had always known and the courage and strength she showed was inspirational.”
Emma and her family have set up a charity – Tiegan’s Star – to raise money to support those in the children’s oncology and haematology unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
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Emma said: “I just don’t want Tiegan’s death to be in vain. I have to give something back.
“During Tiegan’s journey we realised just how financially challenging having to spend so much time in hospital can be.
“We were so fortunate because my friends and family raised money to help us out, but we did run up quite a few debts while we were in hospital. We lived off credit cards because we didn’t have an income.
“We realised a lot of families didn’t have the support we did. There were times of hardship where people didn’t have enough money to eat. You need to look after yourself to be able to look after your child.
“Tiegan’s Star provides support in a number of ways, from providing nappies, food boxes, wash bags and travel costs to assisting with memory days.
“We are getting new requests all the time. It’s very sad, but at least we can help.”