THE family of Amy Carter say they still have not got justice after five years of fighting – but now is the time to move on.
Speaking to The Shuttle in the peaceful surroundings of their back garden at their home in Santa Maria Way, Stourport, Amy’s parents Richard, 48 and Jacqueline, 52, Carter and sister Sam, 21, described themselves as “very family orientated – it’s just we are not a full family any more” and admitted they no longer celebrated Christmas.
Since Amy’s death on Christmas Eve, 2009, the family has searched for answers – both within their private lives and through the legal system at an inquest in July, 2010 and a near five-year-long successful battle for compensation – but say they still have not found any.
Mr Carter said: “Our family has been utterly devastated at losing Amy - we have really struggled to come to terms with what has happened. Our lives have been turned upside down since 2009 and as a family we no longer celebrate Christmas, as it marks the anniversary of us losing Amy. We are now trying to piece our lives back together after the shock of losing our precious daughter.”
Mr and Mrs Carter, who own pet shops in Stourport, Bewdley and Wordsley, said several people who had been through similar situations had sought advice from them .
Mrs Carter said: “We work with the public and so many people talk about what has happened to them and they are asking for our advice and it is so worrying because you get so many stories - a lot of it never gets heard. I know there is good as well but there is an awful lot that is not getting heard.
“How many go to hospital and have near misses? It is not until something like this happens you hear about it and, even then, are you strong enough to pursue it?
“We have heard of one girl that was saved through hearing our story. Her mum took her from the hospital to another hospital and they said if she had stayed in the same place she would not have survived."
“It has been enough losing Amy but every day you have got to live with it and paint your face on and face the world.”
Amy’s sister Sam, 21, said: “It is something no sister should have to go through. We have gone from a massive family unit to nothing and it is cruel.
“I have made choices based on this. I never moved away to university - I stayed at home. You need your comfort and need to be here and mum and dad would be on their own if I left.”
As for the family’s next steps, although they say nothing can make up for losing Amy, Mrs Carter said the family would use the end of the legal battle to rebuild their lives.
She added: “As far as I am aware, there is nothing else we can do - we have to see this as we have taken it as far as we can go. We just need to let people know you do not take everything as gospel. You know your own family. If you are not happy, speak up. It is all right for us to say this now - we have got to live with it.
“Life goes on and we will have to concentrate on making a new life without Amy – we have got no choice.”