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Family’s grief as baby Myla loses fight for life

A Portadown baby girl who was fighting a rare aggressive brain tumour has lost her battle for life.

Beaming blue-eyed ‘Smyla’ Myla Campbell died in her mother’s arms on Sunday after suffering a violent seizure a few days earlier.

A funeral service for the youngster, who was just two months when diagnosed with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours (ATRT), will take place at Tandragee |Baptist Church today.

Since being diagnosed, Myla, who earned the nickname ‘Smyla’ from her family, has undergone a series of gruelling operations and intense chemotherapy in a bid to fight off the disease.

And while the procedures managed to prolong her life, they only alleviated her condition forcing her parents David and Charlene to make the heart-breaking decision to stop treatment so she could spend the rest of her short life at home. Sadly, almost two weeks after she celebrated her first birthday little Myla lost her battle against the ravaging disease.

Her father David told the Belfast Telegraph that while the last few days had been extremely difficult, the family took comfort in knowing their “beautiful wee darling” had finally received her “angels wings”.

“She is now finally at peace after a difficult few days and long hard battle against this awful disease,” he said.

Mr Campbell said Myla had been fighting to stay alive following a seizure last Wednesday. She suffered an hour-long attack which caused her to stop breathing several times. However each time she “fought back” until Sunday. “She died peacefully in Charlene’s arms,” he added.

A few weeks ago the Campbell family told this newspaper of their struggle to save Myla in a bid to raise awareness of the condition.

ATRTs, which occur mainly in babies and young children, have a very low survival rate with the life expectancy being between six to 17 months. And there are only around 40-50 children in the world who have ATRT. Myla was the only one in the UK.

The family initially struggled to find information and contacted doctors and nurses around the world in a search for a cure.

They even allowed Myla to undergo experimental treatment, however it failed to cure her condition.

Mr Campbell said he wanted to thank friends, family and medical staff for all their support.

Anyone wishing to convey their sympathy can make a donation to the Northern Ireland Children’s Cancer Unit Fund.

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