Belfast family distraught after losing fifth child to mystery illness
A Dundonald family say they are "totally heartbroken" after losing their fifth child to a mystery illness.
Little Lacey Pollock (4), described by her family as "our beautiful princess", passed away yesterday morning, four days after her life support was turned off on Thursday.
The family had already lost four of Lacey's siblings, aged between nine weeks and 13 years, to the undiagnosed condition.
Lacey's death came three days after what would have been her late sister Ellie's 13th birthday.
Photos show tender moments her family shared with Lacey in her final hours, with her being cradled by her devoted mum Jamie (35) and dad Mark (41).
Distraught Jamie posted online: "This morning we held our beautiful princess Lacey in our arms and said goodbye.
"We are totally heartbroken, really have no words.
"Love you my angel, sleep tight princess."
Wellwishers devastated by the youngster's death posted messages of condolence on social media.
One wrote: "Sleep tight wee angel, my heart breaks for your mummy and daddy and brothers, all your family. Gorgeous girl, fly high wee princess."
Another said: "RIP little lady. She couldn't have asked for more loving, supportive parents.
"She's with your other angels. Sleep tight."
In the last week of Lacey's life, the local community came together to fill the family's final days with precious memories.
Among the surprises was a message from boxer Carl Frampton and a visit by the Belfast Giants.
In a video message from his training camp, Tigers Bay boxing champ Frampton told Lacey she was in his thoughts.
He stated: "I think you have touched the hearts of the whole community, and I can say for myself that you have definitely touched my heart. I'm thinking about you kid, I'm in your corner and I think everyone else is too."
The family previously lost their son Jordan, who was their first child, at the age of 11 months in 2001. They also lost their daughter Jamie-Lee in 2014 at the age of 13, while their daughter Ellie died in 2011 at six years old, and little Lexi passed away in 2012 at just nine weeks.
The undiagnosed condition suffered by the children meant they couldn't walk or talk, had breathing difficulties and had to be tube-fed through the abdominal wall. Lacey spent more than half of her short life in hospital.
She leaves behind her parents and four brothers who don't suffer from the condition.
Details of Lacey's funeral have yet to be made public.
Lacey's family have launched a fundraising campaign to create a memorial garden for the children they have lost. To donate, visit the Lacey's Wish page on gofundme.com