Joy Edwards lost her daughter in a blind cord accident, here she tells her story.
In October 2010 both mine and my family's lives changed forever. On this morning my son, who was 8, walked into the twins' bedroom and discovered his 17-month-old baby sister Leah entangled in a looped blind cord.
I ran into the bedroom, raised my daughter to try and slacken the cord and untangled her. The ambulance was called.
Within minutes the house was full of paramedics and police officers – it all seems such a blur, but I remember taking my other three children downstairs and out of the way. A friend quickly arrived to look after them and we followed the ambulance to the hospital, trying to stay positive.
The ambulance and paramedics took our little girl and we followed after in a police car. When we arrived at the hospital I knew straight away the news was not good as there was a security man outside the room. Watching too many Casualty and Holby City programmes you learn the procedure.
"Leah was so cold and the colour had already started to drain from her tiny face."
Leah was so cold and the colour had already started to drain from her tiny face. I willed her to wake up; she was never a very good sleeper and all I wanted her to do now was wake up so I could take her home to her siblings and twin brother.
We had to return home, where police photographers were taking pictures of the house. This was when we had to tell our other children that Leah was gone. She was a beautiful girl, quieter and more placid than her twin Luis, but with a gorgeous smile - she was my little dolly. The hardest thing I have ever had to do is tell her brothers and sister that she wasn't coming home.
Our last photo of our daughter was in the September when she had her first ice cream. It's a photograph we will treasure.
After her death I decided that it would not be in vain and was determined to raise awareness about the dangers of looped blind cords.
When RoSPA called and asked whether I would help with their campaign, I agreed without hesitation – well, wouldn't you?
We never thought that the blind in Leah's bedroom could be deadly - it is so important that parents are made aware of the risks. It is obviously hard to talk about losing our beloved daughter, but if it saves at least one life then it is more than worth it.
I would urge people to ensure that blind cords are tied up and out of the reach of young children – there are a variety of safety devices available that are inexpensive and easy to install. Also, remember that your children are growing all the time and things that weren't a danger before could be now – try getting down to their level and seeing what could be a risk to them.
Accidents occur on a daily basis and many can be avoided. Through raising awareness I hope the number of accidents can be reduced dramatically.
Joy received a RoSPA Archangel Award in 2014 in recognition of her work to keep the dangers of blind cords in the public eye.
Accidents are the biggest killer of young children. Click here for more information on how to keep your family safe, and to support our blind cord safety campaign.
Posted: 3/10/2016 12:33:47 PM