Woman, 88, who was told she couldn’t have kids now has 150 children and grandchildren

January 26, 2015 | by | 0 Comments
Emma Derrick, 88, was told she couldn't have children but now has more than 150 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren

Emma Derrick, 88, was told she couldn’t have children but now has more than 150 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren

A woman told she would never be able to have kids is struggling to keep track of her ever-expanding brood – with 150 children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Emma Derrick, 88, was plagued by rheumatic fever as a child which left her with a tiny 4ft 8ins frame.

Doctors told her it was unlikely she would be able to carry a child – but she went on to have 14 children with her husband Dennis.

Now, more than 70 years later, her offspring have flourished, met their own partners and gone on to have more children.

And there is no sign of the growing brood stopping, with great great-grandchild number four due imminently.

“The doctor told me if I managed to have one baby then I could have a dozen,” Emma said. “I kept him to his word!

“It can be tough keeping track of everyone but I do love them all. I wouldn’t change any of them.

“Having family around you is the most important thing in life.”

Emma suffered three bouts of rheumatic fever during her teens and doctors told her parents that it was likely she would ever have children.

The inflammatory disease that occurs as a result of becoming infected by group A streptococci bacteria, can lead to heart failure and inflammation of joints.

She struggled to recover from the disease throughout her childhood and was told having children would be too dangerous.

But the stay-at-home mum defied the odds and now lives in Knowle, Bristol, surrounded by scores of pictures of her enormous brood and with dozens of relatives on her doorstep.

He children range in age from Royston, who is 67, to the latest addition who is just under one.

Emma said: “When I was 16 they all told me I couldn’t have children, I had rheumatic fever three times.

Emma (front right in pink jumper) poses with some of her relatives

Emma (front right in pink jumper) poses with some of her relatives

“When I did have a baby they were perfect.

“We got married at 16 and I didn’t have children until I was 21. We weren’t actively trying to defy doctors, it just happened.

“They are all miracles. I prayed for a baby and it was answered.

“I couldn’t win though, I had three boys before I had a girl, then I had three girls and they asked for a brother!”

With such a huge family there have been plenty of ups and downs along the way but the super-gran always insists on looking on the bright side.

The matriarch has outlived two of her children and a baby, named Emma, was stillborn.

She added: “Of course, there have been some good times and some bad times, but I have always thought the best way to get through life is to concentrate on the good times.

“My mother always used to say if you can’t look after them then you shouldn’t have them in the first place, and I always kept to that.

“I got a lot of help along the way from friends and family but I did a lot of it myself, I was always cooking and cleaning.”

The family lived in two houses in Knowle and Dennis kept everyone fed and clothed with the money he made running a garage in nearby Ashton Vale.

Occasionally the family get together for celebrations and parties but there are so many relatives parties are usually held at a community hall.

Dennis died 20 years ago and Emma now lives on her own but she always has someone popping over to run errands or help out around the house.

Although she is still as bright as a button, Emma struggles to remember the names of her 65 grandchildren, and has given up keeping track of her great-grandchildren.

The sprightly OAP always makes sure she has spare birthday cards on hand for unexpected visits and emergencies, however.

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