Jamie Leigh Twidale, 24, was found dead in the bathroom of her home in the town’s Suffolk Close with her two youngsters naked in her bed.
When Jamie Leigh failed to turn up at Ward Jackson Primary School with her children, Harley, four, and three-year-old Skyelar, last Monday morning, the school contacted her mum, Elizabeth Twidale, who went round to the house and made the devastating discovery.
The 45-year-old said: “The school had tried to ring Jamie, but couldn’t get an answer. They knew about her epilepsy and called me.
“When I got to the house I could see the kids’ uniforms ready and it was really quiet. I was shouting for Jamie, but couldn’t get an answer. I went up the stairs and could see Harley wasn’t in his room, and when I turned I could see into the bathroom and saw Jamie slumped over the bath.”
Elizabeth said the children then came wandering out of single-mum Jamie Leigh’s bedroom.
The distraught mum-of-two, said: “It looks like she had bathed them on the Sunday night and was emptying the water out when she has had a fit over the bath, which is why the children didn’t have any clothes on.”
Elizabeth, who is also mum to Aaron, 18, said Jamie Leigh’s children thankfully did not realise anything was wrong and still don’t understand their mum isn’t coming back.
She said: “They just keep saying that she is asleep.
“She was a fantastic mam, she lived for the kids, they were everything to her.
“We used to spend almost every day together, she always had a smile on her face. It hasn’t sunk in, I just keep thinking she will come through the door.”
Elizabeth, who will now care for Skyelar and Harley, who is partially deaf and uses a hearing aid, at her home in Studley Road, said she is from a very close knit family and is grateful for all the support she is getting.
She added: “Jamie had loads of friends. I keep getting cards and lovely messages and a lot of the people I don’t know who they are.”
Aaron said: “She made friends really easily. Things will never be the same without her.”
Although the young mum had suffered from epilepsy from a young age, she was otherwise fit and well and had even been out with her friends on Saturday night for a fancy dress event.
Jamie Leigh’s family say they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people in the town, who are going out of their way to support them.
Her aunt, Julie Hart, 49, said: “The people of Hartlepool have really come together already, everyone wants to do something to help.”
The funeral service will be held at St Aidan’s Church on Friday, November 11, at 9am and all Jamie Leigh’s friends are welcome to attend. The family is planning to set off pink and blue balloons in honour of her. It will be family flowers only and donations to an epilepsy charity.
Nick Hart and Charlotte Walton, Jamie Leigh’s uncle and cousin, have set up a fund-raising page to help financially support Skyelar and Harley, in the hope of them having as good a Christmas as possible and to help with funeral costs.