I had known that sooner or later this phone call would happen

I had known that sooner or later this phone call would happen

The original bed that Leah ordered online from Dunelm Mill for her new bedroom was faulty when it arrived and an identical replacement wasn’t available.

Dunelm Customer Services handled the situation really well when I explained our circumstances – through floods of tears – and why everything had to be just right for my daughter coming out of hospital.

They arranged for us to get another cheaper bed as a temporary measure, which would then be replaced by the very pretty bed that Leah had chosen when it came back into stock.

They were in touch with us periodically after this to apologise for the fact that the chosen bed still wasn’t available.

This morning I got a call on my mobile from an unfamiliar number and the voice when I answered it said “This is G…. from Dunelm Mill, sorry for the delay, your daughter’s bed is now ready, do you still want it?”

I had to explain as kindly as I could that we didn’t – the girl was very embarrassed.

I had known that sooner or later this phone call would happen and that it was going to be so hard…….

I like this quote by Nancy Guthrie who buried two of her children –

Our faith keeps us from being swallowed by despair.
But I don’t think it makes our loss hurt any less.”

All together at last

All together at last

When Leah was diagnosed we were told that post transplant she couldn’t be discharged back to our existing house as we had a severe problem with mould and damp in the bedrooms.

Hundreds of pounds & a government grant had been spent trying to eliminate this problem but it kept coming back.

Fortunately we had a half finished house in the garden with an indefinite completion date.

The furniture from Leah’s existing bedroom was crumbling due to the damp, so our friends and neighbours organised a fundraising drive to raise money to equip Leah’s bedroom in the new house with everything she could possibly need.

There was an awful lot of work needing done to the new house before anyone could live in it.

While Leah and I were in Bristol, my husband Horace along with many relatives and friends worked long hours to get the new house into shape.

Meantime Leah sat on her bed in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit and ordered all her new bedroom furniture & bedding from Dunelm Mill online – she was so excited.

When we had got back to Belfast, Rachel, our eldest, toured Leah around Ikea in a wheelchair on a quiet Monday morning to get the finishing touches.


Leah needed a desk at which to study for her GCSEs and a comfortable desk chair.

When the time for our homecoming was near friends and family were busy cleaning, making beds (literally) and hanging curtains.

Finally on Monday 11th November ’13, Leah and I moved into our new house.

Leah absolutely loved her new room with its own ensuite facilities.

Everything was designed to protect Leah’s frail immune system and to help her convalesce


At this stage a lot of the house was as yet unfinished so only Leah & I could live there initially – the rest of the family lived nearby in the old house.

Our goal was to be together for Christmas.

There were days when Horace & I wondered how that goal was ever going to be achieved.

Again we relied on the generous help of family and friends.

Finally on Christmas Eve, the other bedrooms were ready and we moved the furniture in.

That night, for the first time since the 26th June ’13 the six of us were sleeping under the one roof.

My back was sore from lifting & carrying but I felt such an immense sense of relief that we were all together at last.