Brave Widow Who Lost Her Partner During Pregnancy Takes Her New Daughter To Dad's Favourite Places
Ellie and Joe were the perfect couple - young, happy, and waiting for the arrival of their first child.
After four years together, they were planning the next part of their future together.
The couple had just been for their 20-week scan, found out the sex of the baby, picked a name, and were searching for their perfect family home.
Joe had even bought a dress for his daughter - which she still wears today.
But just two weeks after the scan - and three months before Ellie was due to give birth - Joe's life was tragically cut short and their lives were shattered.
Twenty-three year old Ellie, who lives in Beckenham, now faced the prospect of being a single parent but had to be strong for her unborn child.
Terrified of losing the baby through sheer stress, Ellie hid how she really felt. A new baby was everything she and engineer Joe had ever wanted.
She told LADbible: "When I was pregnant I found it so hard to bottle my emotions and not get too stressed but I just felt like screaming and crying - but when you are pregnant you can't behave like that.
"The six days spent in hospital were the most painful days of my life. The uncertainty, holding out hope, not knowing the outcome of the future was soul destroying. I had to stay strong for our "princess" as Joe called her. I was physically and mentally drained."
She added: "Joe was so overwhelmed he once said to me that once you have a child you can die happy, knowing that a part of you will always live on. That was the meaning of life for him to have children and live on through them and create a family."
Since her daughter Josephina was born in June, Ellie has vowed to make sure Joe's memory lives on.
She has drawn up a list of places that Ellie and Joe visited together or which meant something special to him - including Disneyland Paris, Croatia, Italy, and Greece.
The trips will allow her baby to follow in her father's footsteps and let the pair recreate special pictures with the daughter in her dad's place.
Disneyland was a first step, but Ellie has more travel plans for her and her new daughter.
She said: "I plan to travel with her until she goes to school. We are planning a trip to go to Thailand in March, where my brother lives.
"Disneyland was the first part of it all and it was really therapeutic and I felt so bad coming home that I just thought we should continue travelling.
"I want her to stand where he stood, where we had so many happy times. He had just got back from Thailand when we met but I know where he'd visited and have photographs of him and I'm going to take her to those same places."
Ellie said what started out as one trip has become a way of carrying on Joe's life through their daughter.
She said: "This is our coping mechanism. When I said I was going to Disneyland, some people said 'how could you do that?' because I was still grieving. But this is my way of dealing with it. It doesn't mean I am over it but it's my way of coping.
"My little girl is a blessing that I will truly treasure for the rest of my life. My life will be dedicated to making hers full of happy and special memories, even in times of unhappiness and darkness, we will find light and happiness through our travels and feel closer to Joe on our journey."
Ellie has started a blog to keep a record of their travels together and has shared her story on social media, receiving a massive response.
She said: "I just wanted to share my experiences. I've had a few people contact me who are in similar positions or have been. It's been really difficult, I never imagined I was going to be a single parent or in this position.
"But the picture has now reached so many people - more than 1,400 from around 40 when I first put it up. It's amazing.
"People have contacted me and said how inspiring and strong I am, but I don't see it like that. It is just my way of coping and if I didn't do it then I would be completely upset."
You can read more about Ellie's story and her travels here.
Featured Image Credit: LADbible