Little girl in heartbreaking 'true face of cancer' photo dies aged four
Published 21/11/2016 | 14:30
A girl with terminal cancer whose heartbreaking photo was shared around the world has died aged four.
The photo of Jessica Whelan crying in agony as she battled the disease was taken by her father, Andy, and posted on her Facebook page: A fight against Neuroblastoma.
In an emotional Facebook post, a heartbroken Mr Whelan, who lives in Lancashire, admitted he felt “both sadness and relief” after his daughter passed away on November 20.
“No longer does she suffer, no longer does she feel the pain of the physical constraints of her body,” he wrote.
“Now my princess has grown her angel wings and has gone up to play with her friends and loved ones. She will now watch down over her little brother and ourselves until one day we are reunited again.”
He also revealed that they shared one last “big cuddle” before she “found peace”.
“Last night she finally allowed me to hold her in my arms and we had a big cuddle as I told her how much I loved,” he added.
“I told her again that it was okay for her to close her eyes and go to sleep and I kissed her forehead and her lips numerous times.
“It seems like this is what she needed to finally allow her to find comfort in her passing as within eight hours of this cuddle she finally took her final breath.
“She was a daddy’s girl from the start and even right up to the end. I feel like a massive part of me has just been torn away but I am so glad that I could give her that comfort in her final hours. She passed peacefully and calmly with not even a murmur.”
He also thanked everyone who had shared his daughter’s story, previously describing the photo as “the true face of cancer”.
Earlier this year, a video of a crying choir singing a final song for their teacher moments before her death was also shared around the world.