THE courageous parents of Laila Milly McCormack have paid a touching tribute to their baby daughter who lost her battle for life last week.
Laila died last Wednesday, just a day before her first birthday, after suffering from a chest infection.
The repeat infections were just one of many complications caused by Aicardi Syndrome, the serious illness Laila was born with.
Her parents Steven and Maya McCormack, of Hayfield Way, Ackworth, have vowed to continue raising money in their daughter’s memory in the hope of creating a day nursery for young children with serious and complex illnesses, on Kirkby Road, Hemsworth.
The couple – who are staying at Martin House children’s hospice, where Laila often went for respite care, until her funeral on Monday – paid tribute to their daughter this week.
Maya, 29, said: “Laila Milly was born on March 3, 2010 and we were so excited to meet our beautiful little girl.
“Laila was the sweetest little thing – she loved her cuddles, and sometimes kisses, but definitely didn’t like having her face wiped.
“From day one Laila knew what she liked and let us know what she didn’t.”
Laila was taken to hospital at five weeks old when she started to breathe heavily and after weeks of tests, doctors diagnosed her with Aicardi Syndrome.
Mrs McCormack said: “Our world collapsed being told that our little girl would start having seizures – it was a lot to take in when we were holding our baby girl – but Laila proved to be a little fighter throughout the 12 months of her short life.
“The first five months of her life were spent in and out of PGI’s Hydes Ward but thanks to Christina Vickers and the Jigsaw team we were able to spend the next seven months of her life at home.
“Laila was the bravest and the most beautiful little girl with a big heart and gentle soul. We were blessed to call her our daughter.”
Mrs McCormack added: “Our campaign will still continue in our daughter’s memory. We’d like to thank the carers from the continuing care package team, the nurses and doctors from Hydes Ward, everyone at Martin House children’s hospice and our friends and family for their love and support.”
The couple also thanked Express readers for their support so far with the Laila Milly’s Wish campaign, launched in the newspaper in January.
The Express continues to call on readers to spare just £1 to support the Laila Milly Foundation and help the McCormacks create their dream day nursery for seriously ill children, in memory of Laila. All donations will go towards the vital building work that will transform the building into an accessible and safe place for youngsters with complex illnesses.
Laila’s funeral will take place at St Cuthbert’s Church in Ackworth, on Monday March 14 at 10.30am, followed by a gathering at the Brown Cow pub. Those who attend are asked to wear bright colours to celebrate Laila’s life.