A YOUNG mum who delivered her baby two weeks early so her dying mother could hold him in her arms said it was her "parting gift".
Georgia Wilkins had her birth induced before her mum, Mandy, died after suffering with Alzheimer's at just 43 years old.
The 18-year-old said her mum burst into tears as she cradled baby Theo and died just a week later.
Mandy had said she "couldn't wait to be a nan" so when the family received the heartbreaking news last month that she would die before the birth Georgia and her partner, Sean Hanley, agreed to induce their son.
A senior consultant gave the go-ahead and Theo was born fit and healthy at 9.22pm on September 23 at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby.
"We video called mum from hospital as soon as we could. It was amazing. She couldn't take her eyes off the screen", said Georgia.
"I always wanted my mum to be a big part of Theo's life. It was really important to me that they got the chance to meet.
"Doing this was my parting gift to mum. It made me feel good knowing that I made her happy. It gave me peace of mind.
"I know that if mum would have had longer to live, she would have been great with him. She has always been great with kids.
"By the time Theo was born she couldn't communicate. But when she held him, tears just started to roll down her face.
"Then I knew I had made the right decision."
Georgia was a teenager when her grandmother, Rita, also died of Alzheimer's aged 46.
She added: "The risks never really crossed my mind. I was prepared to do it so that mum could meet Theo.
"It's sad that mum won't be there for him now but I will make sure Theo knows exactly what she was like."
Former care worker Mandy, from Cleethorpes, Lincs was the loving mum to three children, Aaron, 21, and twins Ellis and Georgia, 18.
Son Aaron said: "We were all devastated. It had a deep impact on all of us because we knew the outcome".
He added: "I struggled big time. To be honest we all thought she would live longer. She really deteriorated in the last six months.
"Eight weeks ago she stopped speaking and by the end she was wheelchair bound.
"But we all pulled together to care for her. We did it for mum. We took on the responsibility to care for her and it became a 24-hour job.
"We had rotas because we all had to take our turn but all needed down time too. It was really, really hard."
He was at her bedside when she passed away.
He added: "It broke me and I just started roaring because I knew that was it.
"To see her in her last stages was really hard because she went from being really happy all of the time.
"She did the best she could and lasted six years.
"She was a mum and a friend to us. She was part of the gang. Our house was like an open house."
Georgia described her mum as a “bright, caring and loving person,” adding: "She had so many friends and was popular with everyone. Her personality was bubbly and that always shone through.
"Mum never panicked about money or anything. She took everything in her stride. No one ever had a bad word to say about her.
"She always saw the best in people and people always saw the best in her."
Whilst Mandy's heartbroken children stepped up to the daunting challenge of having to care for their mum as her condition deteriorated, despite only being teenagers, they were supported by their mum's two closest friends, Anna Sheppard and Dawn Sullivan.
When Dementia Strikes The Young
THOUGH rare it is possible for young people to develop dementia, of which Alzheimer's is the most common form.
Early-onset dementia affects people under the age of 65.Of all those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, around five per cent will develop symptoms before 65.
Most sufferers will start to show the signs in their 40s and 50s.While similar to dementia in older people, there are some important differences, according to the Alzheimer's Society.
There is a wider range of disease that can cause early-onset dementia, and younger people are more likely to suffer a rare form.
It's also more likely to cause problems with movement, walking, co-ordination or balance.
Early-onset dementia is more likely to be hereditary than dementia that strikes in old age.
In around 10 per cent of suffers the condition is likely to be inherited.
Anna paid tribute to her, saying: "She always put the kids first. Her first thought when she was diagnosed was about protecting her kids. Until her last breathe she wanted the best for them."
A fundraising campaign has been launched to help the young family pay for funeral costs.
A JustGiving page has already raised over £1,000.
A funeral for Mandy will be held on Tuesday, October 17 at 1pm at Grimsby Crematorium.
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