Terri's father speaks of hurt

BURNS victim Terri Calvesbert's father today revealed the hurt after seeing his ex-wife's story about leaving their daughter splashed over the pages of a glossy magazine.

BURNS victim Terri Calvesbert's father today revealed the hurt after seeing his ex-wife's story about leaving their daughter splashed over the pages of a glossy magazine.

Terri's mother Julie has spoken for the first time in almost a decade about why she walked out on her daughter after the youngster was severely burned in a fire at the family home.

In the national magazine article, published this month, she talks about how antidepressants were not enough to help her cope with the guilt, how she longs to have another baby and how she wants to be a part of Terri's life again.

Terri's father Paul Calvesbert, who has cared for his daughter since the accident, today said: “It's very frustrating to read it when you don't believe a lot of it.


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“I'm not telling Terri, I think it would be too upsetting for her.”

Mr Calvesbert and Terri, 10, have featured in the news worldwide. The public have closely followed news of the youngster's health and articles spoke of a “new mum” for Terri when Mr Calvesbert announced last year he had found love again and was marrying Nicky Lowry.

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Julie rang Paul earlier this week to warn him about the article. He did not want it printed but said he is going to “let it lie”.

He also said Julie has seen Terri, visiting her at Julie's parents' house a few times earlier this year.

In the article Julie, 30, hides her identity by not revealing her surname or being fully pictured.

She said: “I don't know what made me leave my cigarette on the side of the table near her cot, but I did. I play that moment over and over in my head.

“I went to her room and there was smoke and flames everywhere. I couldn't go in.

“I couldn't face Terri and what I'd done.”

She also praises Mr Calvesbert for how he has coped and looked after Terri.

Mr Calvesbert said: “I believe her when she says she feels guilty. What she went through, being in the house that night, I didn't have to go through.

“I just don't know why she has chosen to tell her story now.”

The Evening Star contacted Julie but she declined comment.

n Terri was asleep in her home in November 1998 when flames swept through her bedroom and caused burns to 85 per cent of her body.

n It was touch and go whether she would live - adults with such injuries would not have survived - but the tiny tot fought for her life and won.

n Doctors at Broomfield Hospital's specialist burns unit, Chelmsford, have performed a host of skin grafts and other operations on her over the years since.

n The Evening Star has followed Terri's progress since the fire, and run a fund which has raised more than £350,000 for her future needs.

n Donations can be sent to The Terri Calvesbert Appeal, Michelle Dorrell, editor's secretary, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP4 1AN.

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