Heather’s tears at being area’s top mum
A CAREER woman who never wanted children has been crowned kmfm/ Kentish Express Supermum 2009.
Heather Hayward, 31, who lives in South Ashford, has four children – two she adopted after their mother died and, after realising the joys of being a parent, has since had two more.
One of her adopted daughters requires extra care as she has a heart condition suffered by only a handful of people worldwide.
Heather, a technical account manager and the family’s main earner, is already back at work at Ardo UK, Charing, just seven weeks after giving birth. She burst into tears when, on her way to work on Wednesday, she received the call to say she had won the title.
Along with adopted daughters Kerry, 13, and Bethany, eight, Heather told their story to kmfm presenters Kirstyn Read and John “Webbo” Webster on kmfm’s breakfast show on Friday morning.
Heather’s husband Jon had two children from a previous relationship. She was initially wary of the idea of having children in her life, but got to know and love the two girls, who would come and stay at weekends.
She also got to know and became friendly with the girls’ mother, Louise, and all got on incredibly well. Then, just before Christmas 2003, while the girls were staying with their dad and Heather, Louise fell ill.
She was taken to hospital, put on a life support machine, and on Boxing Day 2003, Louise died. Kerry and Bethany were just eight and three at the time.
“Having to tell them they’d lost their mum was the hardest thing in the world,” Heather said.
Heather, then 26, had two little girls who had just lost their mum to care for. The couple quickly enrolled the girls in schools in Ashford as they had been living in Rochester.
Bethany, a pupil at Ashford Oaks Primary School, has her heart, liver and spleen on the wrong side of her body. When she was born doctors did not expect her to survive, but Heather describes her as a fighter.
Bethany has spent a lot of time in hospital and Heather said: “She has down days and loses energy and will have more surgery in a few years’ time.”
Kerry, who is at Highworth School, nominated Heather for Supermum 2009.
Live on kmfm, Kerry said: “She has done so much for us over the years. She held us together.”
Talking about how Louise’s death affected the girls, Heather said: “In the early days Kerry would come into our bedroom and touch my face to check I was still breathing.”
Heather adopted Kerry and Bethany. Joined by 20 or 30 family and friends, they went to the family court in Folkestone then for a celebratory meal.
Enjoying being mum to Kerry and Bethany, and dealing with people who have raised their eyebrows at the thought of a 31year-old being the mother of a teenager, Heather and Jon have since had two more children, Samuel, three, and seven-weekold Alexia.
The overall kmfm/ Kent Messenger Supermum winner for Kent was announced on air on Thursday as Barbara Newbury, the area winner for Sheerness.