Mandy Allwood, who stunned the world by announcing she was expecting octuplets before she lost them all at 24 weeks, has died at age 56 after battling cancer.
Octomum made world headlines when she announced she was expecting eight children in 1996 at the age of 31 with her boyfriend Paul Hudson.
But six boys and two girls, born in three days and three nights, did not survive.
The public outpouring of grief following the deaths of Cypros, Adam, Martin, Cassius, Nelson, Donald, Kitali and Lane led Mandy to appear on Oprah and dine with Princess Diana.
But she struggled to come to terms with her devastating loss and sank into depression, suicide attempts and alcohol addiction after breaking up with Mr. Hudson.
Octomum Mandy Allwood, who stunned the world by announcing she was expecting octuplets before she lost them all at 24 weeks, has died aged 56 after battling cancer (pictured in 2018)
She made world headlines when she announced she was expecting eight children in 1996 with Paul Hudson (pictured).
The mother of eight children who never recovered from losing all her children within three days of their birth.
In September 1996, she gave birth to six boys and two girls – just 24 weeks pregnant.
Each died a few hours after birth.
In later years, Mrs. Allwood sank into depression, suicide attempts, and alcohol addiction.
Mrs. Allwood recently said that she facilitated the death of each of her children, who were born and died within three days.
In an interview with the Sunday People, Mrs Allwood said she had tried to commit suicide twice and struggled with alcohol addiction.
She said, “In three days and nights, I miscarried eight times.
“I cradled each of them for two and a half hours until they died in my arms. It was terrible. Truly terrible.
She said she prayed to God when she felt that the last of her children was being born, that at least one of them would live, only that her eighth child would also die.
All children are buried in West Norwood Cemetery in South London.
She also continued to suffer from a phantom pregnancy and said she still feels babies kicking inside her every day.
She hit a low in 2008, drinking wine from the minute she woke up, even ordering a cab to take her to buy more after she lost her driver’s license.
She also attempted suicide twice, lost custody of her children, and became estranged from her family.
Ms Allwood is due to be cremated Friday morning at a service in Stratford-upon-Avon funded by her local council, with no mourners present.
Her immediate family told The Sun they would not attend.
Her friend, Mark Beard, 58, owner of the Yard of Ale pub, said: “She battled cancer for a while and had surgery before Christmas but recently told us the disease has returned. I don’t know what kind of cancer it was.”
Mark said that Mandy visited his pub twice a week and “was a bit eccentric and crazy, but that’s why we loved her.”
He said that a dozen of her friends would raise a glass to her life to remember her life.
She appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and even received a personal message of support from Princess Diana.
Prior to the tragedy, Mrs. Allwood had a son, Charlie, from a failed marriage.
But after yearning for children with Paul’s new partner and suffering from repeated miscarriages, she took fertility drugs.
Claims were made at the time that Mrs. Allwood had gone against medical advice by undergoing fertility treatment in the first place; and that she subsequently profited from the tragedy.
However, Mrs. Allwood, who later had three daughters, always denied the allegations and said she told her story because she wanted to help others who had experienced the horror of a miscarriage.
She previously said she was “angry” that some people condemned her for choosing not to abort any of her eight fetuses in order to give the rest a chance to survive.
fMandy Allwood, who became pregnant with eight children but lost them all, visited their grave with her partner Paul Hudson on the first anniversary of their funeral at West Norwood Cemetery in south London.
Kypros, Adam, Martin, Cassius, Nelson, Donald, Kitali, and Lane died within hours of their birth.
After the tragedy, she struggled to come to terms with her devastating loss and sank into depression, suicide attempts, and alcohol addiction. In the photo: the abandoned grave of octuplets
Mrs Allwood met Princess Diana twice at the Ritz and Dorchester hotels in London in late October 1996, where they chatted about their struggles with depression in the year before the royal family’s death.
She said: “She hugged me, gave me great support.
“When we first met, she said to me: “Thank you for removing me from the front pages for a change.”
“We talked about her depression and my panic attacks and she told me she was there too. We talked about her family and she talked a lot about Charles and Camille.”
She said Diana first got in touch just five weeks after the miscarriage, sending a dinner invitation in the mail.
The meetings were very private and Mrs Allwood was not allowed to take pictures or exchange phone numbers with the princess.