TWO daughters have spoken of their battle to save their mother from alcohol abuse.
Dawn Taylor, 57, of Hall Cross Road, Lowerhouses, died in January from heart disease brought on by chronic drinking.
Now Dawn Buckle, 35, and Sarah Flavell, 31, say their mother’s sad story should be used to highlight the dangers of alcohol and the affect it can have on a family.
Dawn said: “I would come back from school aged 11 or 12 and find mum asleep with the fire on full and an empty bottle of cider next to her.
“There was no tea for anyone, so I would help out and help bring up the other two children as best I could.
“When I was about 13 my stepdad left and I ran away to live with friends.
“Being brought up by an alcoholic is not a life for anyone.
“I loved her, but I always said I wouldn’t make the same mistakes.”
In 2000, Dawn had to take the agonising decision to have her mother sectioned and admitted to St Luke’s Hospital in Crosland Moor for treatment.
She said: “I was the eldest and had to make a decision.
“I said to her: ‘This will kill you, if you can’t stop for us. Stop for your grandchildren’.
“When she came out she gained some weight and started to look healthy, but it only lasted a couple of weeks.
“I wanted to shake her and say ‘this is reality, wake up’.
“She was fading away in front of us. Alcohol changes your skin, your eyes, everything.”
Sarah and Dawn gave their mother an ultimatum about her drinking and began to distance themselves, also restricting access to her grandchildren.
Sarah said: “My youngest was six and it’s a difficult decision, but I didn’t want her to see my mum.
“It’s not a nice thing for children.
“If she had stopped the drinking that could have been different.”
In January, a police officer arrived at Dawn’s doorstep with the news her mother had died outside a friend’s flat in Almondbury.
She collapsed after walking a friend’s dog.
At an inquest in Huddersfield last week, the sisters discovered a 2005 diagnosis of liver disease had resulted in an ultimatum from doctors – stop drinking or die.
Dawn said: “We had no idea, we were horrified.
“I spoke to one of her friends who said ‘We all knew. She told us all in 2005 when she came out of hospital’.
“None of them told us. Some had even given her alcohol.”
She added: “Her grandchildren did love her, they’ve been badly affected.
“This is our experience, but anyone who has had a parent who is an alcoholic knows that feeling of not being able to do anything, but you try.
“It’s a heartbreaking thing when you love someone. Alcohol can be a killer.”