Sunday 30 March 1997: Nick got up for work as usual at 4am. I was woken at 7.30am by the phone ringing, I ran downstairs to try and catch the phone before it woke Sophie up, Nick had forgotten the clocks had gone forward so she wouldn't wake for another hour. He said to let him know how she was when she got up. I went back upstairs and into Sophie's room and I knew immediately as I entered the room that something was wrong. Sophie was on her stomach with her head slightly turned to the side and she was a strange colour, her skin just somehow didn't look the right colour, it was more of a cream colour. I ran over to her bed and turned her over; Sophie was obviously dead. I picked her up and turned her over as I couldn't stand the thought of her face being partly in the pillow and partly turned to the side. I screamed - I think I was hoping somebody would come and knock the door.
I ran downstairs and phoned Nick and told him Sophie was dead, he said he knew something was wrong when I phoned back so quickly. I put the phone down and ran next door to the neighbours and shouted, "Sophie's dead". The neighbour phoned for an ambulance and ran round to the house, ran up the stairs two at a time and went into Sophie's room. You could see the horror on his face when he realised I hadn't got it wrong and there was nothing he could do. He sincerely thought Sophie was really ill and he was going to be able to save her, or at least do something for her.
The ambulance arrived and the two crew ran straight upstairs, they obviously knew there was nothing they could do once they entered the room. I dropped to the floor sobbing and asking them to do something. I really knew there was nothing they could do and I really don't know why I said it. The neighbour got down on the floor with me and hugged me.
The next thing I knew the police arrived and a police photographer; they have to come out to any case where there is a sudden death. The neighbour's wife arrived to see if there was anything she could do.
The photographer went upstairs to take photos and a doctor then arrived to certify the death. I said to the doctor, "whatever are we going to do?" He said, "God would help you", unfortunately for him this was really not what I wanted to hear and what I said to him was probably not what he wanted to hear!
I then felt the urge to get my life back to normal and started washing up, it was really bizarre when you look back - my daughter had died, the house was full of people I didn't know and I was stood in the kitchen washing up in my pyjamas!
Nick arrived home and went straight for the stairs but the policeman told him he couldn't go up. As you can imagine Nick told him to move otherwise he would move him. When Nick arrived in Sophie's room and saw Sophie he dropped to the floor; he had central chest pain, was given oxygen by the ambulance crew that were still at the house and they ended up taking Nick to A&E. My mum went with Nick, he had phoned her and his parents on the way home, although I can't remember when she arrived at the house.
The police needed to fill in an incident form and were trying to get the details. However, I just couldn't concentrate and went to get the washing off the line, I sat back down with the policeman and answered a few more questions I then put the washing back on the line.
Nick and mum arrived back from A&E, Nick was OK. A funeral director arrived to take Sophie, Nick carried her down the stairs and the funeral director (Simon) carried her out to the car. Sophie went off up the road and virtually the whole close watched her go.
Nick's mum and dad arrived at the house, they had to make a long journey to get to us.
The next few days were a blur; I can't express myself enough to describe the gut-wrenching torture we were going through. The worst feeling that I couldn't get out of my head was that Sophie was a really kind little girl with a lot to look forward to in life and this was taken away from her.