Mandy Allwood: who was ‘Octomum’ who gave birth to and lost eight babies - as she dies of cancer at 56

‘Octomum’ Mandy Allwood made headlines around the world when she fell pregnant with eight children in 1996

<p>‘Octomum’ Mandy Allwood made headlines around the world when she fell pregnant with eight children in 1996 (SWNS)</p>

‘Octomum’ Mandy Allwood made headlines around the world when she fell pregnant with eight children in 1996 (SWNS)

A woman who gave birth to eight babies - with all of them losing their lives within a matter of hours of being born - has died aged 56 from cancer.

‘Octomum’ Mandy Allwood made headlines around the world when she fell pregnant with eight children aged 31 in 1996.

At 24 weeks, she gave birth to six boys and two girls over three days and nights - but tragically all of them died.

Following her death, Mandy was cremated on Friday (4 February) at a service with no friends or family present.

Who was ‘Octomum’ Mandy Allwood?

Mandy, who lived in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, was the first-known British woman to give birth to octuplets.

She went into labour early with all eight of her children dying just hours after their birth.

Mandy was advised to have a selective reduction - a process in which doctors reduce the number of foetuses - to give her a 50-50 chance of giving birth to twins.

However, she insisted that she wanted to give birth to all eight babies, who were named Adam, Cassius, Donald, Kitali, Kypros, Layne, Martyn and Nelson.

She continued to mark the anniversaries of the death of her children by visiting their graves alone.

Her life sadly spiralled into depression and she suffered with suicidal thoughts in the years after her babies died.

Mandy went on to have three children but neighbours and friends said she "never recovered" from the trauma of losing her babies.

She revealed that secret meetings with Princess Diana, who personally comforted her, is what got her through her darkest days.

Mandy and Paul Hudson - the father of the octuplets - went on to divorce.

What happened to ‘Octomum’ Mandy Allwood later in life?

Neighbours said that Mandy battled alcoholism and flooded her flat before her death from cancer.

They revealed how her alcohol addiction led her to accidentally flooding her property on several occasions.

One neighbour, who would only give her name as Sue, said she often helped Mandy when she could as she felt sorry for her.

Sue said: "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.”

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