Chloe Jean Emily Godding was born on 30th May 2012 at 08:39AM weighing 8lb. She was born in Winchester Royal County Hospital, England and went home later that evening with her mummy Lucy, daddy Nick and her big brother Ollie.
Chloe was always such a happy baby with a contagious smile, and ever since she was a newborn, right up until her very last day people would always stop and comment on what a gorgeous & smiley little girl she was.
Chloe was a very social little girl, a true lover of life, and thought of everyone as her friend. She woke up every day smiling and went to bed every night happy. She really was a little ray of Sunshine. She had a real zest for living and just loved to be happy and bring happiness to other people’s lives, which she did in great abundance. Chloe showed a great love for nature in all its beauty, and would often stoop to smell and touch the flowers as she passed them or wonder at the beauty of a butterfly.
Chloe adored her whole family with every fibre of her nearly 3 year-old being, and we all totally and utterly adored her and will continue to do so always. Chloe grew up idolising her big brother Ollie; being only 20 months apart in age Ollie and Chloe became the very best of friends and usually managed to wrap Mummy and Daddy around their little fingers! They would often be heard together, with their wild imaginations, coming up with the most wonderful games, or playing “shops” together, or singing and dancing around the living room.
We were lucky enough to enjoy several family holidays together, we went to Scotland for a week in 2013 when Chloe was one, and we went to Spain in 2014 for a week when Chloe was 2. Chloe and Ollie loved their holiday to Spain splashing in the pool by day and by evening dancing and singing at the children’s disco where Chloe even managed to win “best dancer” too.
Chloe’s last holiday was in May 2015, just 3 weeks before her 3rd birthday when we went to Portugal, this time it was not only mummy, daddy, Ollie and Chloe, but also her Grandparents (“Gangan and Gumps” as they are affectionately known!). The children were so excited when we arrived and we had a lovely first day, but at the end of the 2nd day of our holiday we were faced with every parent’s worst nightmare. After a full day at the beach playing and having a day of fun and games, we headed back to our apartment a short walk away. When we arrived back Ollie & Chloe were desperate to go down for a quick swim in the pool before their dinner so mummy, daddy, Ollie and Chloe went down to the pool for half an hour before returning to the room. As we got into the apartment Chloe slipped forward on the marble floor and it was unclear whether she bumped her head at this time. She clearly hurt herself as she screamed but just wanted “mummy cuddles” to make it better. There was no sign of a bump to her head and she soon seemed better so Ollie and Chloe got on and had their bath before their dinner. Chloe didn’t have a big appetite that evening and was sleepy but having had an action packed day on the beach and out in the Sun, this didn’t seem too out of place given the circumstances. We all had a cuddle on the sofa and read some stories before we went and put Ollie and Chloe to bed. Chloe kissed everyone goodnight looking tired but happy. 2 and half hours later when checking on the children Chloe was found unresponsive with blue lips, face down in bed but still very warm.
As a mother this is not something you can ever prepare for, but as a nurse I think I went into autopilot and started trying to resuscitate her while the rest of the family were trying to call for an ambulance and look after my Son who was 4 years old at the time. The language barrier proved impossible for anyone on the phone to understand so I went out into the road cradling Chloe and screaming for help. I was lucky enough to be heard by a British doctor on holiday who helped me keep trying to resuscitate Chloe until an ambulance arrived 35 minutes later. On arrival the first responders did not know what to do but were soon joined by a doctor who 45 minutes later finally decided to move Chloe to Faro hospital where she was pronounced dead. Five days later we were informed that we could finally bring Chloe back home to England after she’d had a post mortem examination in Portugal. Chloe was flown home separately 2 days later where she was transferred to Southampton Hospital and after another week a second post mortem was carried out. With 2 post mortem examinations both showing different results an inquest ensued and the cause of death was finally classified as “unascertained”.
Following Chloe’s death, we as a family have been so lucky to have had such supportive friends as well as the support of each other and the support from our local community. Without all this support each day would just be impossible. In addition to this support I have also found the support of the SUDC Foundation which is the only charity globally dedicated solely to sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC). It is an international charity that funds research into SUDC with a hope that one day this will be something that can be predicted through genetic testing and therefore prevented. The SUDC Foundation also offers family support and advice and has been a great source of comfort going along this grieving journey.
There are very few people who can say they lived every day to the full. Chloe did. She was lucky enough to be happy every single day of her beautiful little life. Every one of her days was full of smiles and laughter. She thought everyone was her friend and she never had to worry about anything in the World. She was loved intensely and unconditionally and was told every single day just how loved she was. The last words she heard when she went to bed on the night she died were “love you to the Stars and back a million times”.
As our daughter, Chloe has enriched our lives and given us more joy than she will ever know. We miss her every single day. Her beautiful smile, her warming cuddles, her cheeky giggle, her brilliant sense of humour, and her wonderful, kind and loving personality will live forever in our hearts.
Chloe now has a new baby brother called Alfie who was born 10 and a half month after Chloe died. There are moments when I see so much of Chloe in Alfie’s smile and expressions, and we are constantly telling him about his big sister in heaven watching over him.
If love could have saved Chloe, she would have lived forever.