Olivia Downie: Little Girl Flown Back To Scotland After Cancer Treatment Dies In Hospital

Olivia Downie Dies In Scottish Hospital

A terminally-ill seven-year-old girl who travelled to Mexico for specialist cancer treatment has died two days after returning to Scotland.

Olivia Downie died peacefully in the early hours of this morning.

Her family said they were "blessed" to have had her in their lives.

Olivia tragically died having flown back from Mexico

Olivia and her family, from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, flew to Mexico earlier this month to get her treatment for neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer.

While there, she fell seriously ill and her family was told she would need expensive medical treatment on any flight home. Olivia, her mother Lauren and father Steven touched down in Aberdeen on a medical plane on Wednesday after a fundraising drive helped meet the cost.

She was taken straight to Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital.

In a statement released through NHS Grampian, her parents said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that our darling daughter Olivia slipped away peacefully this morning after her long and courageous battle.

"We are so thankful that, thanks to the generosity of so many people, we have been able to take her home to Scotland so she could have her family by her side. Words cannot express how grateful we are that this final journey was made possible.

"We would like to extend our gratitude to the medical and nursing teams, both at NHS Grampian and overseas, who have also been part of our lives for so long.

"We were blessed to have had Olivia in our lives and her cheeky smile that shone like a star will be with us forever."

The charity Families Against Neuroblastoma (Fan) helped the family with fundraising to bring her home. Almost £155,000 was donated through a JustGiving page set up to raise money for their flights and medical costs.

Olivia was diagnosed in January 2009 after suffering severe backache and tiredness. Following visits to GPs, she was taken to Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital and diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

Fan said Olivia had a tumour the size of a grapefruit in her stomach.

Neuroblastoma is a cancer of the nervous system and can occur anywhere in the body. Fewer than 100 children are diagnosed with it each year in the UK and most who suffer from it are younger than five years old. Linza Corp, founder of Fan told Huff Post UK the money initially had not shown up in the bank account because of a technical glitch, in "one of the scariest moments of my life."

The charity now has a petition calling for a campaign to raise awareness of the illness.

It states: "We are requesting a Government-funded awareness campaign to educate the public to recognise the signs and symptoms of neuroblastoma, and empower parents and GPs to adopt a policy of early testing when symptoms first present."


What's Hot