A fa­tal mis­take

When Ja­nine Mil­burn, 41, from Ha­vant, waved her teenager good­bye, she didn't know she'd never come home

Pick Me Up! - - CONTENTS -

With her com­bat boots and bum bag, my daugh­ter Ge­or­gia, 18, was all dressed and ready for fes­ti­val sea­son.

‘Got the tick­ets?’ she yelled to her sis­ter Danielle, 21, who was scrap­ing her hair into a messy bun.

‘Argh, they’re in my room!’ she said, rac­ing up­stairs.

I had to laugh.

It was 10am on a Satur­day morn­ing last May, and for weeks the Mutiny Fes­ti­val in nearby Portsmouth was all my girls had talked about.

‘Craig David is play­ing on the Sun­day,’ they’d said ex­cited.

Typ­i­cal of my two, ev­ery­thing was a last-minute rush. But fi­nally, with week­end passes shoved into their bum bags, they hugged me good­bye and scur­ried out the door. ‘Be care­ful,’ I shouted af­ter them. ‘Have fun, love you.’ ‘Love you too,’ they cho­rused. Noth­ing much had changed since they were lit­tle. They were still just as feisty, al­ways keep­ing me on my toes.

Ge­or­gia was just like me – fiery and stub­born, but she also had a gi­ant heart.

Even as a tot, she was al­ways the first to make friends.

Now, she was al­ways out shop­ping with her mates or off to the cinema.

And when it came to par­ties she was first on the dance floor.

No mat­ter what, my girl knew how to have a good time.

She loved get­ting dolled up and danc­ing all night.

But, un­like most girls her age, Ge­or­gia never seemed both­ered about booze.

I know be­cause be­fore her first house party at 15, we had a long chat.

‘There will be some kids there drink­ing,’ she shrugged. ‘But I’m not in­ter­ested.’

I wasn’t born yes­ter­day. I knew she’d likely try some­thing.

‘Well, don’t feel like you have to, but if you do, be sen­si­ble,’ I smiled.

To for­bid it would only make things worse.

And try­ing new things is part of grow­ing up.

Be­sides, I trusted Ge­or­gia. That’s why I’d let her go to Mutiny the year be­fore.

It was only 10 min­utes away, so she hadn’t needed to camp. And the fes­ti­val was strict – only sold al­co­hol to peo­ple with ID if they looked un­der 25.

‘It was bril­liant!’ she’d said. I’d no doubt she’d say the same when she got in later.

‘I’m sure she’ll tell us all about it!’ my el­dest Char­lotte, 23, laughed to me and my hubby Daniel, 42.

She couldn’t go, had to work. Later, as I bus­ied my­self in the gar­den, I kept my phone nearby just in case.

A good thing, too, be­cause at 3pm it rang.

It was Danielle and she sounded flus­tered.

‘Mum, it’s Ge­or­gia. She’s fit­ting,’ she ex­plained breath­less.

You see, Daniel had epilepsy so we were used to deal­ing with seizures.

Danielle had acted fast, got the paramedics with her.

‘She should be OK,’ Danielle said.

But I was wor­ried. Danielle’s boyfriend Ky­lan, who hadn’t gone to the fes­ti­val, ar­rived and drove me to her.

I ex­pected to find Ge­or­gia sit­ting up, re­cov­er­ing.

In­stead, I saw her com­bat boots dis­ap­pear­ing in­side the back of an am­bu­lance.

She wasn’t fit­ting any more but wasn’t con­scious ei­ther.

Wor­ried, I got in the back of the am­bu­lance.

‘Mum’s here,’ I said, stroking her hand as they rushed us to Queen Alexan­dra Hospi­tal.

Doc­tors went back and forth

Just hours ago, she’d been full of hap­pi­ness and ex­cite­ment

be­tween Ge­or­gia and the room where I waited.

Each time, they said some­thing dif­fer­ent. ‘Does she have fits of­ten?’ Or...

‘She’s been fit­ting for 45 min­utes.’

But most dis­con­cert­ing of all…

‘Do you know what she’s taken?’

At first I didn’t un­der­stand the ques­tion.

Surely they couldn’t think Ge­or­gia had taken drugs?

Then it dawned on me: fes­ti­vals and drugs, sadly, of­ten go hand in hand.

It was nat­u­ral that they’d as­sume she’d taken some­thing.

I didn’t want to be­lieve it. But she’d never had a fit be­fore, let alone a se­ri­ous one.

I fran­ti­cally tried to reach her friends and sis­ter who were all still at the fes­ti­val.

No-one had re­alised how se­ri­ous Ge­or­gia’s con­di­tion was.

But with every minute that ticked by, the sit­u­a­tion grew more grave. Ge­or­gia’s body was shut­ting down.

Doc­tors kept fight­ing to re­sus­ci­tate her but soon it was prov­ing im­pos­si­ble.

That’s when they sat me down.

‘Call fam­ily and friends and get them here if you can, it won’t be long,’ they said.

I was stunned. Just a few hours ago, my girl had been full of hap­pi­ness and ex­cite­ment. Now I was los­ing her. In shock, I ral­lied as many friends and fam­ily mem­bers as I could.

Daniel com­forted me as Danielle and Char­lotte ar­rived.

We were all sob­bing.

It was 8pm when doc­tors came to turn off Ge­or­gia’s life sup­port.

My heart was break­ing, but I was so an­gry, too.

Pre­lim­i­nary hospi­tal tests sug­gested she had taken drugs.

‘How could you be so stupid?’ I fumed to Ge­or­gia through my tears.

It was dev­as­tat­ing.

She wasn’t a drug­gie. Now, be­cause of one stupid de­ci­sion, she’d lost ev­ery­thing.

As Ge­or­gia took her fi­nal breath, my anger was re­placed by sheer pain.

‘Come back, please,’ I sobbed.

But my beau­ti­ful girl was gone for­ever.

Mutiny can­celled its Sun­day event and re­funded ev­ery­one’s tick­ets.

We learned an­other young lad, Tommy Cowan, 20, had died too. Even Craig David tweeted, My heart goes out to the fam­ily

and friends of the two young peo­ple who lost their lives at Mutiny Fes­ti­val...

Portsmouth Coro­ner’s Court heard that Ge­or­gia had taken two ‘rogue’ ec­stasy pills at the fes­ti­val, and that five peo­ple had been ar­rested for the sup­ply of drugs.

The fes­ti­val or­gan­iser said anti-drugs mea­sures were of an ‘ex­cel­lent stan­dard’.

I was dev­as­tated. My girl was a good kid. She’d made a choice many young peo­ple make and, if they’re lucky, they get away with.

Sadly, my Ge­or­gia paid the ul­ti­mate price.

I’m heart­bro­ken. But I’m shar­ing Ge­or­gia’s story, not only to warn peo­ple about drugs but to make a dif­fer­ence.

That’s why we started our cam­paign for more rig­or­ous test­ing of drugs at fes­ti­vals, and ed­u­ca­tion in schools. I’m even work­ing with the owner of Mutiny Fes­ti­val to make changes for next year’s event.

No-one should have to lose their child this way.

My girl was not a drug ad­dict. She was just a young girl who made one silly – and fa­tal – mis­take.

To sup­port the cam­paign, go to face­book.com/ge­or­gia-jonesDont-go-with-theFlo-528583060891308/

my Ge­or­gia

I want things to change

Gone much too soon

Craig David sent a tweet

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