In September 2013, Evelyn started year 3 at her primary school. Our summer holiday had been wonderful, with a week in Cyprus and plenty of time with family and friends.
I was fortunate in that I had landed a good job as a contract engineer , two years earlier, and it allowed me the kind of flexibility that meant that I could look after my children and work while they were at school. It was hard going, but I didn’t want it any other way because I wanted to be with my kids as much as possible.
The extra income meant that we could now afford a better quality of life and things were looking good for the four of us. We had one boy and one girl and we were all healthy and happy. We did not have any financial worries. We had both suffered the loss of a parent, but that is something that most people face at some time.
We started week 2 of the term in the usual way. I drove to school each morning and made sure that they were safely in the classroom, before driving the 10 miles to work, where I struggled to find parking and then would rush to my desk and log on whilst I made a coffee. I would return to school to pick them up, after being sat in front of my two computer screens for five hours. Fridays were sometimes different because I could ask my husband to pick them up so that I could catch up on my work.
On Wednesday, September 11th, we had arrived at school when Evelyn said that she had a bit of a headache. I had a sachet of children’s Ibuprofen in my bag, so I gave it to her and she seemed fine by the time she went in. I explained to the teacher and said that I could be contacted at any time during the day if she became unwell.
I returned to school at the normal time and Evelyn said that her headache was coming back but the most noticeable thing was that her voice was very hoarse. She said that her throat was sore. She seemed fine again after some Paracetamol and she insisted that she wanted to go to her ballet class. She didn’t eat much tea, but I took her to the class as she never missed it. My friends noticed that her voice sounded very strange, but I said that I would be taking her to the doctor in the morning because it might develop into a nasty infection
I put her to bed with a dose of Ibuprofen, just in case her head hurt again and told my husband to let my department know that I would not be at work in the morning (We both worked on the same site). I had no idea about what would happen next.