St Albans parents’ agony following loss of beloved daughter Rachel

IN the grief-stricken 15 months since losing their cherished daughter, Rachel’s parents Tina and John Deradour have said the devastation and heartbreak has made them just a shadow of their former selves.

Once a happy family-of-four who enjoyed going on holiday every year, they now say they have no quality of life and struggle to sleep every night.

Mr and Mrs Deradour, of Colney Heath, who have another daughter called Sophie, 18, whom they described as Rachel’s “best friend”, told the Herts Advertiser they will never be the same again following Rachel’s tragic and untimely death in April last year.

Mr Deradour, who has had to change to a less-pressurised job, said: “Not only did he kill Rachel, Sophie lost her parents that day as we are not the people we were. This was such a happy family.”

Mrs Deradour said: “The day he took Rachel’s life, he took ours with it. We have no quality of life. When I look at photographs, I see that as our old life. None of us are the same, we look like different people now.”

The parents, who have thankfully had a huge network of support following their loss, said they cannot even contemplate going on holiday without Rachel and can no longer face going to a restaurant as it brings everything home to them. “We’ve only been out to eat out twice in the last 15 months, there’s always that empty seat,” said Mrs Deradour.

Rachel, a popular Loreto College pupil, should have been celebrating her school prom earlier this month and she had already been thinking about what she was going to wear before her death. Instead, the event was dedicated to her memory and her friends created a shrine for her at the event.

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Mr Deradour added: “If she had lived to 65, he would have still robbed us of 50 years. I’m never going to be able to teach her to drive, Tina’s not going to be helping her choose dresses for proms and weddings, she’s not going to get to be an aunty and neither is Sophie, the list goes on. Every nice occasion we used to have is horrible – Mother’s Day, Father’s day, Easter and Christmas. The pain is so deep.”

Paying tribute to Rachel, they said: “She was fun loving, vibrant, kind, loud and would help anybody. She was special and loved by everybody that knew her, and great fun to be around. Rachel was great fun to be around.”