Unable to walk or talk, Bridlington house fire victim Samantha Hudson loses her agonising fight for life
AS SHE lay in a hospital bed, tears slid down Samantha Hudson's face.
It was a familiar sight to her mum Sharon, who had spent hours at Samantha's bedside after she was seriously injured in a fire that killed her three children.
With Samantha silently crying, Sharon gently tried to find out what was wrong.
"I asked if she was uncomfortable and she shook her head," she said.
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"I asked if it was because of the kids, and she nodded.
"I said, 'You do know they've gone, don't you, love?' and she nodded. So she does know."
It was three months after the fatal fire at her home in Clarence Avenue, Bridlington, and the first time Samantha acknowledged her beloved children were dead.
In the days after the blaze in November 2010, Samantha's parents Sharon and Robert were warned she was not expected to survive.
Her brain had been starved of oxygen after she scaled two flights of stairs, through toxic smoke, to gather her children from their beds and try to escape.
When firefighters entered the house, they found Samantha huddling over all three of her children in an upstairs bedroom.
All four were unconscious. The children were pronounced dead hours later but Samantha survived, defying doctors' expectations weeks later, when she came out of a coma.
But her survival came at a price.
Severely brain damaged, she was unable to walk, talk, or eat, and spent her days confined to a hospital bed.
Although there were moments when her parents thought there had been breakthroughs – when she laughed for the first time, or said the word "yeah" – she never progressed further.
Although Samantha acknowledged she knew her children had died during that conversation with her mother, she showed no recognition when psychologists showed her photographs.
Her parents said they believed she suffered flashbacks from the fire and would frequently shed tears as she lay in bed.
Last year, her family were told she would never fully recover from her injuries and she was transferred to a care home in Holme-on- Spalding Moor.
Her parents spoke of their pain at seeing their daughter change from an outgoing young mother to a severely disabled woman.
On the first anniversary of the fire, Mrs Hudson said: "She is not the Sam she was and she never will be again. Seeing her the way she is now does not seem fair. It makes me think it might have been kinder for her to go with them.
"It is no life she has now. It is nothing like the life she had before. She loved her life, going out with her friends, playing on the beach with the kids, taking them swimming or to the pictures.
"Now, she is stuck in a room for most of the day, watching films or television, unable even to change the channel herself."
As well as grieving for the loss of their beloved grandchildren, Sharon and Robert were forced to adjust to life without the daughter they knew.
More than two years on, they will now grieve for her too.