“Everything is going to be okay ... things will be different but they will be okay.”
This was the promise to his family from a Linslade dad who died just three hours after the birth of his youngest child.
Brett Kinloch, 31, lost his fight against a brain tumour on Monday, February 11, on the same day that wife Nicola went into labour with their third daughter.
Just 50 minutes after giving birth at Luton & Dunstable Hospital, Nicola, her mum Jill, and newborn baby Ariya were on the M1 to Milton Keynes Hospital to see Brett before he died.
“It sounds horrific,” said Nicola, “but it could have been a lot worse, she could have been born 24 hours later.
“I take a lot of comfort in the fact he did meet her.
“I laid her on top of him and she had a cuddle. He could hear what was going on and he knew we were there, I’ll always be grateful for that.”
The family – Nicola and daughters Freya, four, Ella, 18 months, and little Ariya – have been comforted with round-the-clock support from family, friends and the community.
Nicola said: “I can never thank the NHS enough – the call-out doctor called Tim who kept Brett alive, the paramedics that took him over there... there were nurses from all areas of the hospital that just wanted to do everything they could.
“The midwives Hayley and Laura at L&D Hospital worked tirelessly and compassionately to get me on the road as soon as possible.
“There was no-one at the NHS who didn’t go above and beyond to help us.”
Born in Northampton, PE teacher Brett was head of department at Cedars Upper School and met his wife when they began their PE teacher careers at Milton Keynes Academy in 2010.
Four years ago, he was given the diagnosis of a grade 4 glioblastoma brain tumour shortly after the birth of his eldest daughter. Originally given a prognosis of just 12 months, Brett battled hard to recover and the family self-funded treatment abroad.
But just before Christmas, while expecting their third child, the couple was given the devastating news that the tumour had regrown in an area of the brain that was inoperable.
From then on, Brett’s condition deteriorated.
Nicola said: “Brett never never made excuses and he lived life to the full. He was still working three weeks before he died, he wanted to provide for his family.
“He loved life and he never let [his illness] stop him living. We went on holidays abroad, we took the kids to Disneyland. Even when he could no longer drive, he got a bus pass and would take Freya out.
“Freya is absolutely devastated. We lost my grandmother last year and so she has some understanding of what it is to lose someone.
“She used to call him her ‘superhero handsome prince’ and they did everything together. He was such a good dad.”
A family friend also asked the LBO to pay tribute to the “fantastic care” that Nicola gave to her husband throughout his illness.
Nicola added: “The offers of help and support from our family, friends and even complete strangers have been so lovely and humbling – I appreciate every one of them.”
Brain Tumour Research have been thanked for their ongoing support and the family wishes to highlight the charity’s ‘Wear a Hat Day’ on March 29, with further details to follow in the LBO.
An online fundraiser for the Kinloch family has also been set up at www.gofundme.com/support-the-kinloch-family.
As of yesterday afternoon it had already raised £9,235 of its £20,000 goal.