Heather’s tears at be­ing area’s top mum

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Family Announcements - by Sarah Mar­shall smar­shall@thek­m­group.co.uk

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.

Hard­est

“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.

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