Tragic mum’s baby joy

A MUM left heartbroken after losing her 10-month-old daughter to leukaemia has revealed she is expecting another baby.

Hartlepool couple Caroline and Lee Turnbull say they have “mixed emotions” following the news that a new arrival is on the way.

The couple were left devastated by the tragic loss of their “little princess”, Ava Grace, to leukaemia in September last year, as reported by the Mail.

She had battled with the disease for most of her short life.

But Caroline, of Applewood Close, in the l Turn to Page 4

l From Page 1

Clavering area, today said although her emotions had ranged from “guilt to joy”, the family were trying to move forward with their lives.

The 28-year-old, who is almost 14 weeks pregnant and due to give birth on October 9, said: “We have got another chance to have happiness.

“There have been a lot of tears shed, but they are happy ones.

“There are mixed emotions - I don’t want to move on from that yet.

“But I hope we are doing the right thing to help us move on.

“I will never be able to replace Ava, this is just the next step in our lives.

“I hope Ava’s happy for us.”

Caroline, who is hoping to return to her job with housing firm Mears soon, after a period of compassionate leave, and Hartlepool Borough Council worker Lee, who turns 35 today, have sons, Cameron Wilkinson, 11, and Thomas Turnbull, 10, from previous relationships.

Caroline said: “The baby is the closest thing we will ever have to having part of Ava back.

“It’s positive news, but it’s weird because it’s taken me a while to get used to it and I’ve been a lot more emotional than I thought I’d be.

“There’s been the guilt of being pregnant again and it doesn’t seem like five minutes since we lost Ava.

“But we are hoping it’s the best thing to do and that it will be part of the healing process.”

The couple found out their news seven weeks ago but did not tell many people until recently, after Caroline’s 12-week scan.

They will find out whether they are expecting a boy or a girl on May 26.

But Caroline said: “As long as the baby is well, that’s all that matters.”

Caroline has been suffering from hyperemsis, a severe form of morning sickness, and has been in and out of hospital for treatment.

She said she suffered with this when she was pregnant with Ava and Cameron, and she had an inkling she was pregnant when she got the symptoms.

Ava, who was born on November 15, 2009, had been admitted to hospital after suffering cold-like symptoms just a month after being born.

She was just eight weeks old when blood tests revealed she had leukaemia.

Despite undergoing chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant and at least 20 operations, medics at Newcastle General Hospital eventually said there was nothing more they could do.

Caroline said as the leukaemia wasn’t detected until later, there are no tests that can be done to monitor her latest pregnancy for the condition.

She said: “I’m trying not to be paranoid.

“It’s a fear of ‘I don’t want to go through that again’, to have another child and for that child to go through what Ava did.

“I think that fear’s always going to be there, it’s just about trying to stay as healthy as I possibly can.”