The mum of a little girl who accidentally hanged herself when her bike helmet became tangled in a tree is expecting another baby.
Elise Thorpe – whose daughter Freya died in September 2019 – is delighted to be pregnant, but said it breaks her heart that she will never have a picture of all four of her children together.
Elise, 31, and her husband Chris, 32, have now told how it had been almost impossible to keep the secret.
But she finally shared the news with their family and friends three months after discovering they were expecting.
The new baby announcement comes just days before what would have been Freya’s eighth birthday.
The soon-to-be new mum said: “It was so, so hard not to tell everyone.
“I told my mum, obviously, and my grandmother who I’m really close to.
“But other than that we’ve kind of kept it really quiet.
“It’s been really hard because we’ve got so much of our family who’re really close to us, especially with everything that happened with Freya, so it’s been really hard to keep it from them.”
Freya was just four years old when she was involved in a horrific tree-climbing accident near the family’s home in Bicester, Oxon.
She had been playing with a friend when she clambered up a tree and slipped, catching her pink unicorn bike helmet on a branch and being strangled.
Passers-by rushed to help, and the youngster was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital, where she tragically died two days later..
Social worker Elise and Chris’s two other children – twins Kiera and Zack, now three – who were just weeks old when their big sister died.
She said they are completely over the moon and can’t wait to meet their new sibling.
She said: “Kiera is like a mini mummy, she’s just baby mad – and she cannot wait.
“She’s been asking if we will be having a baby for ages, she just cannot wait.
“Kiera is adamant she wants a baby sister, I’ve tried to explain that it might be a baby brother but I don’t know how well that’s going down at the moment.
“Zack is really excited too.”
But she added: “I know Freya would be absolutely thrilled, but it’s still very hard.
“I just feel like it’s something that she’s missing out on – and Freya never missed out on anything in life, she had everything and more – and any time I feel like she’s missing out on something, it’s a bit of a dagger to the heart.
“I know that is the difficult part for me in all of this is. It’s knowing that she’s not around for it.
“A really big thing for me is that I will never have an actual photo of them all together, because I’ve got one of her and the twins – but I will never have one of all four of them together.
“That’s really difficult for me, but I know that she is here in spirit and she’s always going to be with us. I just try and focus on that thought.
“Freya was absolutely ecstatic when we had the twins, she was totally besotted with them – so I know she would be completely over the moon to have another little brother or sister.”
Elise credits the twins for getting her and Chris, a company director, through the toughest of times following their four-year-old daughter’s tragic death.
She said the couple “purely focus on the kids” and try to “put a positive spin on everything” for their little ones.
Elise explained how Freya’s picture is all over their house and she encourages little Zack and Kiera to ask mummy and daddy lots of questions about their sister, and will make sure that their newest addition does the same.
The couple are also keen for a lasting legacy for Freya.
Elise and Chris are pushing for “Freya’s Law”, which they hope could see stricter measures introduced around children in other people’s care.
The mum said it is an area that she would like to see discussed in more detail.
Medics said Freya’s death was hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy due to accidental hanging, and a coroner later ruled that it was an accident.