At this time of year we always think about Nicola – no, not Ella’s baby Nicola but our friend Nicola from the Children's Home who died so young.
To Ella and I Nicola represents all that was and is wrong with the system. Nicola died after she got infected with MRSA - in hospital. That's right she went in for minor surgery and came out in a coffin. When Nicola realised she was dying she got in touch with her final set of foster parents and they dropped everything visiting her every day from then until she died. Nicola wasn’t stupid – not by any means – and if she had been given just a bit more encouragement to stay on at school or had had a special friend to share her daily life with who knows what might have happened.
It seems such a waste to die at 21, especially when you didn’t have many happy times in your life. It could so easily have been Ella or I buried in the cemetery if things had worked out just a bit differently. We visit her grave quite often and I know some of our friends do the same.
We never met Wendy N but she sounds to have been quite a girl. She died in an accident a month after we started publishing our newsletter. Her closest friend is still a subscriber (waving at Wendys Pal). We happen to know that Wendy was cremated but there wasn’t any money for a proper memorial and I think that 2015 is when her friends should try to put that right.