The heartbroken family of a mum-of-two who died following a routine operation to remove her gallbladder have created a lasting tribute from her ashes.
Karen Innes, the mother of 23-year-old Leah Mills, and her three children have had special tattoos inscribed with ink containing the former Collegiate High School pupil’s ashes.
Leah’s eldest sister Donna, 25, said the tattoos helped keep Leah, of Gorton Road, Blackpool, permanently in their thoughts.
She said: “This seemed the perfect way to remember Leah as she absolutely loved tattoos.
“When she was poorly we discussed buying a jigsaw and all taking a piece to use as a tattoo, but with my youngest sister Melissa being pregnant and Leah never being well enough for another tattoo we decided against that.
“Me and my mum have had lyrics from Leah’s funeral song – the Spice Girls’ Goodbye – with her fingerprint and her name written in Leah’s own handwriting.
“Melissa and Christopher have also have tattoos of Leah’s fingerprints too. We have all taken a lot of comfort in the tattoos as it’s a lasting piece of Leah.”
Benjamin, Leah’s 12-year-old brother also hopes to get a tattoo in Leah’s memory when he turns 18. Leah’s children, two-year-old Harvey and one-year-old Ebony Mae, are being looked after by her family.
Donna, a pharmacist dispenser, added: “I’ve recently gone back to work and it’s slowly dawning on me and the rest of my family that Leah is gone. It’s really hard. People used to think me and Leah were twins. Since she died I’ve been mistaken for her three times.”
The family’s tattoos were done by Jason Slater at Get Ya Tat’s Out, based on Foxhall Road, Blackpool. Karen said: “They were really thoughtful and respectful.”