Brave little Olivia passes away

Olivia Downie
Olivia Downie

OLIVIA Downie has passed away peacefully this morning after her her long and courageous battle.

A statement issued on behalf of her parents read: “It is with great sadness that we announce that our darling daughter Olivia slipped away peacefully this morning.

“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.

“Please, once again, be respectful of our wishes for privacy at such a devastating time in all our lives.”

Olivia (7) had arrived in Aberdeen on Wednesday after being deemed ‘fit to fly’ from Mexcio.

Olivia and her family landed at Aberdeen Airport at around lunchtime and was understood to be taken directly to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The news followed on from an urgent global appeal to raise funds to cover the youngster’s medical and travel costs.

Olivia, who had been stranded in Mexico after falling into a critical condition, had originally travelled to receive photodynamic therapy at the Hope 4 Cancer Institute. But early into the treatment her condition had taken a serious turn for the worse with fluid being found in her lungs and brain.

Charity Families Against Neuroblastoma broke the news on Olivia’s dedicated Just Giving page.

Her mother, Lauren (27), who is currently pregnant, had said at the time: “I am hoping for a miracle where we can take her home and have her for a little while. My best-case scenario is to get home, so if she was going to die she could be surrounded by her family and friends – not here.

“We want her surrounded by friends and family that love her, not strangers in Mexico. She was in quite a bad condition when we came, but now she’s critical.

“The charity that we’re involved with is already having to fork out money that we don’t have. Any support we can get to help get her back home would be a massive help.

“I don’t know what the next few hours or days will be like. I asked the doctors what her chances of dying are and they would just tell me she’s in critical condition.”

Families Against Neuroblastoma went on to say, earlier this week, that Olivia was “doing OK” and that they were waiting on confirmation of the hospital bill.

“The Downie family have expressed their gratitude for all donations into Olivia’s dedicated fund, but have requested funds are no longer donated there. As we have been asked where best to donate now, we have created a new link that will help all of our children going forward. Thank you for helping us,” the charity said, linking supporters to www.justgiving.com/FANfundraising

The charity went on to break news that Olivia and her family would be making the flight back to Scotland on Wednesday morning, Olivia having been deemed ‘fit to fly’.

“There are reports in the media about Olivia being on her way home. Our first responsibility is to the family and as such we can only confirm that Olivia is fit to fly. We will not be divulging the flight schedule,” the charity said on their Facebook page, adding just a few hours later: “We are delighted, Olivia and her mum and dad are on their way home. They arrive in Scotland this afternoon and from the reports we have from the air crew Olivia is comfortable.

“Once again thank you to everyone who has made Olivia’s trip home a reality, we couldn’t have done it without the generosity and spirit of the public. Lauren and Steven are overwhelmed by the public support, as are we.

“Olivia will be going straight to hospital from the plane and I will continue to update this page when more information becomes available and it’s appropriate for us to do so.”