A four-year-old UK girl who died just hours before her first day of school has been remembered as a “feisty, strong-willed and gorgeous” daughter.
Rose O’Leary-Hall’s life was cut short earlier this month after battling a heart defect she’d had since birth.
The little girl’s parents were told at their 20-week scan that Rose had an interrupted aortic arch, the Yorkshire Live reports.
The condition occurs when the aorta – the heart’s main pipeline – doesn’t form ultimately disrupting blood flow to vital organs.
The youngster had undergone surgery to try and repair the condition when she was born, but it was unsuccessful because she was too small.
She underwent another open-heart procedure at 10 months old, but repairing it was impossible.
Despite the unsuccessful surgery, Rose “at first seemed to do really well but she had a stroke”.
Rose’s mother Katie and her wife Sue told Yorkshire Live that Rose had undergone a third surgery last month but died after contracting an infection.
“I have no words to describe the depth of the pain we feel on the day she should have started school. Rose was so full of love and life,” they told the publication.
“Our lives will forever be shaped by knowing and loving her and they will certainly never be the same without her.
“Her feisty, strong-willed and gorgeous nature will last forever in our hearts.
“Sleep well, beautiful girl.”
A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover the costs of Rose’s funeral.
“I’m sure we’re all grieving the devastating loss of such a beautiful, feisty little girl,” Rose’s childminder, Amy Cawthray, who set up the GoFundMe wrote on the page.
“Unfortunately with such tragic grief also comes the heartache and financial burden of arranging a funeral.
“I’m sure we all feel completely useless in this situation and would love to do anything to support Katie and Sue.”
Ms Cawthray went on to say she spoke to Rose’s mum, Katie, about arranging some donations from friends in order to support them with the financial costs of the funeral.
“We completely understand that everyone’s situations are different and there’s absolutely no pressure to donate and there’s absolutely no set amount – just anything you feel you’re able to contribute,” she wrote.
The page initially aimed to raise £4000 ($A7700) for her funeral.
Since its launch, the target has been exceeded, with more than £10,000 ($A19,000) raised.
Originally published as 4yo UK girl dies hours before first day of school