A girl whose parents fundraised more than £300,000 for her to undergo treatment in New York has died of a brain tumour after coronavirus travel restrictions prevented her from going.
Eva Williams, 10, was diagnosed with a high-grade diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) in January 2020.
The prognosis for this particular kind of tumour – the deadliest type of childhood cancer – is just eight to 12 months, the Liverpool Echo reports.
Brave Eva survived for a full year after her devastating diagnosis and died on January 8.
The girl from Wrexham, North Wales, had initially been treated at Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool and underwent radiotherapy last year before being told there was no further treatment available on the NHS.
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When her parents Paul and Carran were told there were no other treatments available, they started to crowdfund in an attempt to raise the £250,000 needed for private treatment in the US.
Backed by celebrities including TV star Matt Lucas and author Jacqueline Wilson, Paul and Carran raised over half of what they needed – £142,000 – in just one week.
They eventually raised £326,000 to access treatment to try to extend her life.
Because of the success, Eva had been originally due to take part in the trial at New York University Langone Health in April.
But then Covid-19 measures saw international flight bans and travel restrictions imposed, meaning Eva couldn't fly to the US for the treatment.
Dad Paul Slapa said at the time the pandemic had "come at the worst possible time for our family".
He recently said on social media that his daughter was surrounded by all of her family when she died.
Paul said: "Over the past week, Eva had lost the ability to speak, eat and swallow fluids, and she has suffered more than any child should ever have to suffer.
"Watching her still fight each day has been heartbreaking.
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"Eva is an inspiration to many, certainly to me, and I cannot begin to imagine how we will go forward from here.
"How do we wake up each day and go on? How do we face the world without our baby girl with us? Why did this happen to the most caring and loving of little girls?
"Every single part of us is in pain and I can't see how that can change.
"We love you Eva – more than you'll have ever known – and we will keep you with us every day for the rest of our lives."
The Brain Tumour Research charity also shared the sad news of Eva's passing and said: "We are grateful to Eva and her dad Paul, who worked with us in April 2020 to share her story here.
"Sadly, Eva passed away on January 8, 2021. We remember Eva as we continue our work to raise awareness of this devastating disease and to fund research to help find a cure.
"She will be forever in our hearts."
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