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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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Tributes to little Isla who had ‘a face that could melt your heart’

A SEATON toddler who died from a rare genetic disease had a face that could melt your heart, her parents said this week.

Four-year-old Isla Holliday died on November 1 in her mother’s arms surrounded by family.

She was diagnosed just two months after she was born with Schinzel-Giedion syndrome, a severe condition which affects many body systems.

Her parents Kelly, 33, and Phil, 39, of Calva Road, were told by doctors that she had just two years to live, but her death at the age of four made her one of the longest surviving children to carry the disease.

On the evening of November 1 they rushed her to hospital.

Doctors said there was nothing they could do for her and it was Kelly’s wish that Isla should be allowed to pass away at home with her family.

She died in her arms the next day.

“I am heartbroken,” said Kelly. “She was just a massive part of my life. I just want to let everyone know how much I loved her.

“I am wondering whether I am ever going to be the same person without her. I just feel like I have gone with her.”

Kelly and Phil tried to give Isla a fulfilling, normal life as they knew her time was short. They took her on several holidays including Lapland, and Kelly said: “I always treated her no differently to my little boy, Isaac. I wanted her to do everything that other kids could do.

Phil added: “Everything was crammed in. We didn’t know how long she had so we tried to do everything we could.”

They both also have happy memories of their time with her.

Phil’s last memory was giving her a bath just before she went to hospital, with her acting like her normal self in the bath tub.

He added: “I loved coming home and kissing her, giving her Eskimo kisses and I loved just everything about her.

“She was so special. She would just melt your heart by looking at her.”

Isla was taken by horse-drawn carriage to her funeral last Wednesday. She was taken in a pink coffin accompanied by teddy bears given by the children of close friends.

Isla’s funeral took place at St Mary’s Catholic Church, Harrington, and she was cremated at Distington Hall.

Kelly’s cousin John Barnes designed a personal order of service booklet which included family pictures of Isla and poetry written by family members and friends.

Kelly and Phil said they were overwhelmed with support, with people sending them flowers, emails and messages on Facebook.

Kelly said they had received more than £1,000 in donations for the Rainbow Trust, a charity which provides support to families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness.

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