CHLOE HAD HER WHOLE LIFE TO COME
Mum tells of heartbreak after tractor horror:
EVERY parent’s worst nightmare became a reality for Karen Farrell when her “beautiful” daughter, Chloe died in a tractor accident.
The 22-year-old was popular, happy and “lived life to the full” when everything changed in the blink of an eye.
Days away from preparing for her next fundraising event for Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice, a cruel twist of fate saw Chloe’s family suddenly needing the charity themselves.
It was through their years of involvement with the organisation that they knew about the Snowflake Room, which offers bereaved families a tranquil, temperature controlled space to say goodbye to their loved ones in the days before they are laid to rest.
It was there that Chloe, dressed in her favourite clothes with her hair tied up in her trademark plaits, that friends and relatives could light candles, play the songs she loved, and spend time sharing memories in their own time and own way.
Chloe looked “perfect” and being able to have her daughter close by, gave Karen the strength to carry on during the worst time of her life.
Today marks the launch of #ChloesStory to raise awareness of the Snowflake Room
In an emotional interview, the mumof-two, from Conwy, recalled the moment she was given the devastating news – having already been touched by tragedy once before, when their dad Geoff died suddenly aged just 51.
Karen said: “We lost Chloe’s dad very suddenly and I always thought one of the worst feelings I would ever experience would be to have to tell both of my children, then aged 11 and nine, that they’d lost their daddy, never realising there would be an even worse experience yet to come.
“Twelve years on, Chloe had her whole life in front of her, we’d recovered as a family and she was beginning to find her independence.
“We all came through so much and we were just starting to think life’s quite nice now when the unimaginable happened.”
Chloe had been enjoying a day at the beach with her boyfriend when the vintage tractor she was driving hit a boat and overturned at The Warren holiday park in Abersoch on May 12 last year.
She had been using the vehicle to transport a jet ski on its trailer between the beach and a chalet after a trip to Llanbedrog. She died of her injuries. Karen, who still runs her late husband’s business, Crime Preven-Prevention Services in Flintshire,shire, where Chloe worked,ed, added: “Chloe had takenen the day off to go to thee beach with her boyfriend.
“When I got the call to say Chloe had been in an accident, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach and I just knew something bad had happened. ●
“I didn’t even ask whatat the accident was.
“Around 15 minutes intoto thethe journey to the hospital, I receivedreceived another phone call to say ththey were trying to stabilise Chloe.
“We needed to turn around and make our way to Stoke Mandeville Hospital because that’s where she was being flown by air ambulance.
“I recall vividly that we had only got one junction further down the road when we were told it’s too late.”
Karen added: “People, who perhaps don’t know Chloe too well, ask me what she was doing on a tractor. “But my children had been brought up in Abersoch. They didn’t play on X-boxes, they were out climbing trees and on bikes and loved spending time on the beach, even when the weather was terrible. “She was on a tractor because that’s how we brought her up. “Chloe was very much a get-up-andgo kind of person. She was full of fun and lived life to the full.” As the heartbreaking news of Chloe’s death begang to sink in, Karen couldn’t standstand thethe tthought of her vibrant, healthyhealthy first born in a hospital mortumortuary or funeral home, espeespecially when mother anand daughter should’ve bebeen in London for Ty Gobaith’sG Hearts of GGold fundraiser. “How quickly life turns around,” sobbed Karen, whose family hhad spent over a decade raraising thousands for the chacharity. ““II remember being at thethe TyT Gobaith ball with ChloeChloe two years ago and watchingwatching hher going from table to ttable,bl chattinghtti and laughing to all different people and noticing how she worked the room. I felt so proud. She was turning into an absolutely stunning young lady. She just got on with everybody, she had so many friends.” Karen added: “Even now, it’s still very surreal, it hasn’t happened. “The worst thing as a mum was imagining where Chloe was in those hours after the accident.
“I couldn’t bear where she was, even more unbearable for me was for her to go to – I hate even using the word – a funeral home. It’s something you can’t even imagine.
“But then, a friend suggested I ask if Chloe could go to the Snowflake Room at Ty Gobaith and when they said yes, I could breathe again.
“Before then, I felt claustrophobic. I can still feel the whole house closing in on us.
“But when we were at Ty Gobaith, it was nice.
“That one phone call helped elped us all get through the following ng few weeks.”
Karen found her favourite ite photo of Chloe. She was as wearing a bobble hat and d fluffy jacket with her hair in pigtails.
The clothes were given to the nurses at Ty Gobaith, who dressed her and did her hair and make up. Chloe looked ● stunning. She looked like herself and over 50 friends ds and relatives came to say their goodbyes.
Some sat with Karen in the private garden outside the Snowflake Room and cried and laughed about happier times.
Chloe’s best friends came and put an angel wing bracelet on her wrist so they could always be together.
They lit her favourite scented candles and played her Ed Sheeran CD on repeat.
“It was so good to be able to be here at Ty Gobaith,” said Karen.
“As traumatic as it was, having Chloe’s friends here with me and hearing them laughing, joking and sharing memories about Chloe really helped us all go on. We could have that last memory of Chloe as she was.”
Karen’s aim is to let families know where to turn if the unimaginable happens to them as most would assume the Snowflake Room would only be available to children in Ty Gobaith’s care.
In fact, it can be used by any children in the catchment area up to the age of 25.
Currently, three local families a week face the agonising pain of losing a child butbut atat thethe momoment, the charity can onlyonly afforafford to help one. TyTy GGobaith is hoping to raiseraise over £50,000 through ##ChChloesStory to create a SnSnowflake Lounge next toto the Snowflake Room. AAs part of the campaign, friends and familyl have been filmed for aa heartbreaking video inin which they speak ababout how it helped thethem. KKaren added: “You nevenever think anything like thisthis wwould ever happen to you,you, butbut iit happened to us. ““WheneverWhenever I read about youngsters losing their lives in the news, I want to reach out to the family and tell them about the Snowflake Room.
“I’m desperate to get the word out there so they can have the same help and support that we’ve had during the most traumatic time.”
To make a donation visit the Ty Gobaith website.
Fun-loving Chloe on a jet ski Chloe with brother Brad, mum Karen and dad Geoff