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Father pays tribute to tragic daughter

PUBLISHED: 23:51 17 June 2005 | UPDATED: 05:56 02 March 2010

PAIGE Griffin's father today pledged her death would be the turning point in his life.

Robert Milldown paid his own tribute to the three-year-old who died as a result of a swimming pool accident at her maternal grandmother's home.

PAIGE Griffin's father today pledged her death would be the turning point in his life.

Robert Milldown paid his own tribute to the three-year-old who died as a result of a swimming pool accident at her maternal grandmother's home.

He also admitted he has a history of abusing drink and drugs, but vowed to clean up his act in memory of Paige.

The 34-year-old, of Weyland Road, Witnesham, said: "Paige was a very bright and bubbly little girl. She would make anyone happy. This is really a turning point for me. I don't want her to think she has got a waste of a father. I want to do well for her. She was such a good girl.

"I think she was chosen for a reason. I think God picked her because she has a special job somewhere else.

"Since it happened I have cut down drinking and smoking. I want to face this as a normal human being. I want to lay it to rest. Paige is probably looking down on me thinking 'daddy you have got to get a grip'.

"I have made a big shrine of newspaper clippings and look at it every day to try and help me deal with it. I've put some silk flowers on her grave so they will always be there. She loved to wear my cap, so I go and lay it on her grave and talk to her."

Mr Milldown's relationship with Paige's mum Lynne, of Glanville Place, Kesgrave, had broken down before their daughter's death. However he said his bond with Paige remained strong.

"She loved me because I was her dad. When I used to go to Lynne's, Paige was my little shadow. She was so full of beans and was always up for a laugh.

"She went to nursery and loved it. She kissed daddy and said 'bye, bye daddy – see you at 12'. She loved to chat. My dream was to get her a school uniform and take her to her first day at school."

Paige's family were left broken-hearted after her mum found her in the swimming pool at Briarwood Road, Woodbridge, on May 12. She was taken to Ipswich Hospital and then transferred to a specialist children's unit in St Mary's Hospital, London, where she died on May 15.

Mr Milldown said he was told about Paige's accident when he returned from seeing a friend to find a message from Ipswich Hospital's accident and emergency department.

He said: "I thought Paige had just bumped her head or something like that. I walked into the reception area, Lynne was crying and she told me what happened. The next time I saw Paige she was all full of pipes."

Mr Milldown and Miss Griffin went to London to be with Paige when she was transferred to St Mary's Hospital.

Despite the efforts of medical teams, Paige could only be kept alive by machines.

Mr Milldown, who had lost his grandfather, Bob, two weeks earlier, said her family eventually had to ask doctors to switch off her life-support when they realised there was no hope.

He said: "The emotions were so strong. It was like a big hole had formed in my heart where she was. I knew she had gone but I was hoping for that little miracle."

Mr Milldown also wanted to thank his father Terry, and Terry's partner, Joy Smith, along with his brother, also named Terry, for their support.


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