Damiola – one of our own
The year 2000 was a memorable year for so many reasons. Hope2020 means so much more to my household. Damiola’s legacy lives on, he remains one of our own. And we thank you Mr. Richard Taylor OBE from the bottom of our hearts for sharing him with us all #Hope2020
In the year 2000 I gave birth to my own Damiola. A son who weighed just over 4lbs at birth, a fighter from the day he arrived. Our son although born prematurely (like his sister before him) thrived without issues and like other doting parents we were grateful for every milestone that he achieved. But quickly we realised something was not right, one of his feet appeared to turn inwards – it looked very painful. The medical staff were great, immediately we were given corrective daily exercises to perform in the hope that this would be an alternative to surgery. As parents our faith and optimism kept us going, in fact we declared loudly into the atmosphere and to anyone that would listen that our son would not only recover from this, but in the future he would enjoy playing sports with that very same foot. We were hopeful.
The death of Damilola November 2000 was devastating to us all. We knew people who lived on that angelic looking boy’s estate. A boy who looked like our son. A boy who had a wonderful future ahead of him, like our son. We mourned, as others did, for one of our own. It was the first time I cried, in fact I wailed real ‘Mummy Tears’. I now knew what my Granny meant when she described them in the past. An ache that starts in the pit of your stomach, stops painfully at your throat, then the ‘ache’ breaks through unexpectedly and unceremoniously into the world, via your mouth….a primal wail, a wail like no other! Yes we had lost one of our own. A time in history that we will never ever forget.
Fast forward 20 years onwards, Damiola’s hopes and dreams live on in many. Including my 20 year old son, who now studies and plays soccer (football) in the US. The year 2000 was a memorable year for so many reasons. Hope2020 means so much more to my household. Damiola’s legacy lives on, he remains one of our own. And we thank you Mr. Richard Taylor OBE from the bottom of our hearts for sharing him with us all #Hope2020
Head of Bedfordshire’s Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit