14/08/2014 16:47 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Mum Of Four At 18: Student Raises Siblings After Mother's Sudden Death

Mum for four at 18: Student raises siblings after mother's sudden death

An amazing 18-year-old girl has become 'mum' to her four younger siblings.

Carrieanne Ainsworth is now the guardian for her two brothers and two sisters, aged 13 to five months, following the sudden death of their mother Lynne Booth, 42.

Carrieanne said: "When mum died it ripped our lives apart. She was the heart of our family, the best mum anyone could have asked for.

"We were always her top priority. She said I had to promise to look after the little ones if anything ever happened to her. I'll be the mother to her kids.

"I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be a mum at 18, let alone a mum of four.

"I've decided I'll never have kids of my own – I've got four now and this is my life."

Student beautician Carrineanne is prepared to sacrifice her own hopes and dreams to bring up Duane, 13, Tyler, nine, Aimee, seven, and five-month-old Mia-Grace.

Recalling the day her mum died, on February 7, Carrieanne, who was staying at her boyfriend's said she received a phone call from brother Duane.

"I spoke to mum on the phone the night before she died. The last thing she said was 'I'm going to bed now, I love you,' and I replied, 'Love you too' and that was it," she said.

Mum for four at 18: Student raises siblings after mother's sudden death

Carrieanne's mum Lynn with Aimee and baby Mia/Platform Press

"Duane was so upset. He was crying his eyes out and said, 'Mum's dead and on the floor.' She had turned purple and wouldn't wake up, no matter how much he shouted her name. I told him to call 999 and I sprinted home."

When Carrieanne arrived at their Bolton home, police were surounding it and she couldn't get inside. Mum-of-seven Lynn was found collapsed dead on her bedroom floor near Mia's cot and is thought to have got up to feed her.

The postmortem examination proved inconclusive so the family has to wait an agonising two months for an inquest to pinpoint the cause of Lynn's tragic death.

Lynn's funeral was held on February 21 and, spookily, she had talked to Carrieanne about arrangements for the service just a few weeks before her death.

Carrieanne told The People: "Mum randomly said, 'if anything happens to me you have to have Mia, you have to look after the kids'.

"It's strange, she even told me what music she wanted at her funeral. There's no way she could have known what would happen. Not knowing why she died is one of the hardest things.

"Mum didn't smoke or drink or have any health conditions anyone was aware of. It was a complete shock.

"When she died I was in a state of shock. I could hardly think. But there was one thing I knew was certain – these kids are mine now.

"It's been especially tough on Duane as he found her. He says every time he closes his eyes he can see her there on the ground. We're going to get him some counselling."

Carrieanne also has two older sisters – Stevie, 23, and Jodie, 22 – who have families of their own but plan to help as much as possible. They aim to look after the little ones so that Carrieanne can return to college.

Carrieanne said: "Neighbours have offered to have the older children and there's a creche at college where I can take Mia.

"My grandparents, uncles and aunts have been coming round to help out. I'm used to taking care of the kids, but it's harder without my mum.

"When Mia starts crying and I don't know why I can't just hand her over.

"If I want to go out alone, I can't. I have to wake up at 6am so I can get the baby and myself ready and then get the kids off to school.

"I go to bed at 10pm exhausted. Things will be tough financially as I will have to go on benefits. But if mum could make it work so can I."

She said: "If I could say one last thing to my mum it would be that I love her so much. I'm keeping my promise to her. I'll make sure they all do well in school and go to college like she would have wanted. I'm going to make her proud."