Girl who sought cancer treatment in Mexico dies

 

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 yesterday morning.

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

Olivia and her family, from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, flew to the Central American country 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 and her parents, Lauren and Steven, touched down in Aberdeen on a medical plane on Wednesday after a fundraising drive helped meet the cost. She was taken 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 raise funds to bring her home. Almost £155,000 was donated.

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.

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