Mandy Allwood made international headlines in 1996 when she announced she was expecting octuplets, but the ‘Octomum’ tragically lost all of her babies after giving birth at 24 weeks
The troubled final weeks of tragic ‘Octomum’ Mandy Allwood’s life have been revealed as she battled alcoholism and flooded her flat before her death from cancer.
Neighbors said she really struggled later in her life and revealed her desperate fight with booze as she failed to recover from the trauma of losing her eight children.
Mandy made headlines around the world 26 years ago when she fell pregnant aged 31 in 1996.
Tragically at 24 weeks, Mandy gave birth to six boys and two girls over three days and three nights – but each of the babies died in a matter of hours.
She went on to have three children but neighbors and friends said she “never recovered” from the trauma of losing her babies. Mandy will be cremated today at a service, with no friends or family present.
Mandy lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, and her neighbors said the area would be a much quieter place without her.
They revealed how she battled booze demons which led to her accidentally flooding her property on several occasions
One neighbor, who would only give her name as Sue, said she often helped Mandy when she could as she felt sorry for her.
Sue added: “I didn’t know her very well because she was a bit of a funny person, she was an alcoholic so she could be a bit in your face.
“I tried to give her what she needed and help. It was a shame, I felt sorry for her – but it was just too much to handle. It is a bit of a relief.
“She flooded the flat underneath her when she overfilled her bath. The guy in the flat below couldn’t do anything to stop it.
“She denied it and wasn’t very helpful – so she was a bit of a mixed character. He’s now got to get his flat sorted because she did it three times.
“It wasn’t that she did it intentionally, she was just so drunk.
“With this virus too she was constantly coming over to my house and hugging me, and I had to be nice with her but I even had to lock my doors.
“Once she just came into the flat, she was just so drunk she never knew what she was doing.
“I know it sounds awful, but it’s lovely around here and now she’s gone it’s a bit better.”
Mandy’s home could be seen today covered in elaborate, chaotic and colorful decorations with her front door labeling her flat “the manor”.
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said: “She was certainly a character to say the least, but she never recovered from what happened to her.
“You can’t even imagine the trauma she went through so its understandable I suppose but she did have her struggles with the bottle.
“It will certainly be quieter around here, she was rather eccentric. Despite her problems, she had a heart of gold.”
Mandy previously told how she spiraled into depression and suffered with suicidal thoughts in the years after her babies died in her arms.
The Mirror’s newsletter brings you the latest news, exciting showbiz and TV stories, sport updates and essential political information.
The newsletter is emailed out first thing every morning, at 12 noon and every evening.
Never miss a moment by signing up to our newsletter here.
But she revealed that secret meetings with Princess Diana, who personally comforted her, is what got her through her darkest days.
Mandy said: “She came to meet me when I was staying at the Ritz and the Dorchester in London. She was absolutely lovely.
“I never really got the chance to say thank you to her properly. She gave me a hug, showed me lots of support and told me she liked my dress.
“When we first met she said to me ‘thank you for keeping me off the front pages for a change’ – it was a massive boost for me.”
Mandy continued to mark the anniversaries of the death of her children – Kypros, Adam, Martyn, Cassius, Nelson, Donald, Kitali and Layne – by visiting their graves alone.
She said: “They are always in my mind and I think about them every single day.
“I have good days and bad days but I’m feeling a lot better. I feel happy and positive about the future.”
Giving advice to other women who had lost babies, she added: “You will never ever forget your babies, but don’t be hard on yourself.
“You will never forget your little boy or girl but you can’t change it. Stay positive and it will work out.”