Saturday 5th December, 2015 was a typically busy day for Anna-Louise Bates, her husband Stuart and their two young children, Fraser and Elizabeth.
“I’d like to say it was an unusual day, but it was just totally typical of us as a family”, says Anna-Louise.
Fraser went to play football and Stuey was Father Christmas at the school fair, and I was his elf… And then from that we rushed to go over to another Christmas jumper party.
The family decided to spend the night at a nearby friend’s house, and left the Christmas party a little after midnight.
But as they crossed the main road on the outskirts of Llantrisant, south Wales, the unspeakable happened when both Stuart and Fraser were hit by a car.
I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget running between the two and not knowing who I should be with.
43-year-old Stuart passed away shortly after the accident. Fraser, 7, died later at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
The driver of the car, 22-year-old Joshua Staples, has since been jailed for 16 months for causing death by careless driving. But despite the immense grief of losing both her husband and her son, Anna-Louise has never sought retribution for what happened.
Since day one, I’ve never sought any retribution against the driver because nothing is going to bring my boys back. And to dwell on the tragic accident is to discount the positiveness of my boys.
I’ll be honest, I get up every morning and I breathe and I look at my little girl and I hug her, like the boys would hug me every morning and Elizabeth every morning. And I get through that day. And every day that I can do that and I can carry on remembering the boys, and everybody else, that gets me through it.
When Stuart and Fraser were killed, Anna-Louise made the decision to donate their organs. The family had discussed organ donation not long before the accident, and Anna-Louise knew what her husband’s wishes were.
Fraser’s organs went on to save four lives, and Anna-Louise is now trying to spread the word about organ donation through a new charity called Believe.
All I’m trying to do with the charity is to encourage those kinds of conversations… and that is what gives me the strength.
Elizabeth will never forget what super heroes her Dad and her brother were.