Serving the people of Bradford, Harrogate, Selby and Craven Districts

My baby girl

I am a carer for my 35-year-old daughter who has Down’s Syndrome and early-onset dementia. But for the last 2 years I have been caring for my youngest daughter also who was only 32.

In January 2019 she was diagnosed with stage 3b advanced cervical cancer.

After a gruelling treatment regime of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy, she was given the all-clear last autumn.

On my 60th birthday in March this year, she was told that the cancer was back and there was no treatment this time and she was given less than 6 months to live.

From 13th March 2020, she spent 2 months in hospital, unable to have visitors due to Covid-19. She had enormous anxiety about being able to manage her pain at home but eventually, she came home in May 2020.

As a family, we provided 24/7 care for her at her home, with Macmillian nurses and other professionals visiting every 2 hours for pain management. With little time left, we arranged her wedding at home in her living room for her fiancé of 2 years. Friends, family and professionals were so very generous and helpful and their kindness will never be forgotten. It was an amazing, unforgettable day and we have memories of our daughter as a happy and beautiful bride.

In June she spent her first weeks in Dove House Hospice, where they organised a cinema night and an afternoon tea for the newlyweds. She was able to come home again and managed for 7 days and then she decided it was time to return to the hospice as life was getting just too hard for her. She couldn’t fight anymore.

The staff in the hospice supported me and her husband to stay with her for the last 5 days of her life and I am humbled by the care, love and skills of the staff.

My daughter passed away at 1.32 am on Wednesday 15th July. It was pain-free and she was dignified to the very end.

She worried about me staying away from my other daughter, her sister, and didn’t want me to be upset, but we agreed that it was Mum’s job to worry and to care and to be upset if I needed to….. I was there at the beginning of her life and I would be there at the end too.

Her final words to me were ‘Mum’s Job, done’.

2020 will be remembered by others for Covid-19, but for me, it will be remembered for my beautiful daughter.

Since losing her my creative side has been re-kindled. I have started to draw and write again. The drawing is the CD cover design of the song ‘Forever and 2 Days’ written by my daughter’s husband to raise funds for Dove House Hospice in Hull. The poem was written in the middle of the night whilst at the hospice and it made my daughter smile when I read it to her.

It’s called ‘My Baby Girl’.

Love you loads sweetheart….. Always.

This poem accompanies Carol Beardmore’s carer story.

My Baby Girl

I can’t imagine life without you

The laughter and the fun

The shopping trips to Liverpool

Exhausted we’d come home

With shopping bags of shoes and treats

And a gift for Dad, the sourest of sweets.


We’d talk and laugh, recall the times,

Of the things you did in your dancing days

The mischief, heartbreak and the tears you cried

Homesickness strengthened your character in ways,

That prepared you to be who you are today


My baby girl, whose hand I held

Is the strongest, bravest woman I know

And a daughter of whom I’m oh so proud

And I’ll never be ready to let you go


But just to remind me when the tears start to fall,

A bond so strong, our friendship filled hearts,

What we had was amazing and you gave me it all

Just know in my heart we will never be apart


Carol Beardmore, 7/7/20