Friday 22 September 2017

Toddler who captured the heart of Seamus Coleman sadly passes away

Caolan Melaugh sadly lost his fight against cancer and (inset) Seamus Coleman
Caolan Melaugh sadly lost his fight against cancer and (inset) Seamus Coleman

Sarah Slater

A little boy who captured the heart of Irish soccer ace Seamus Coleman has lost his battle with a rare form of cancer.

Caolan Melaugh was just 10 weeks old when he was diagnosed with stage-four cancer – a high-risk neuroblastoma.

Brave Caolan, from Killygordon, Co Donegal, battled the illness for nearly two years.

When Irish soccer team captain and Everton player Coleman learnt of Caolan’s plight, he donated €6,000 to help pay for the little boy’s medical treatment in the US.

Caolan (2), endured a tough 18-month battle, which included chemotherapy, surgery, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and six months of immunotherapy.

His mum and dad, Stacey and Gerard, had hoped to take him to Michigan for vital treatment, which was expected to cost more than €200,000.

Relapse neuroblastoma has no known cure and there is only a very small survival rate.

A close friend of the family, Gerard McConnell, broke the sad and unexpected news.

“Caolan took a bad turn Thursday afternoon,” he said.

He very sadly passed away quietly with his mum and dad by his side and holding his hand. We are all devastated. I cannot even begin to imagine how his parents feel.”

Caolan had undergone several surgeries to the brain during his short life in a tremendous bid to get better.

His family also took to Caolan’s fundraising Facebook to post their devastating loss. “Sorry for the lack of updates,” the family wrote. “We were too busy enjoying our time with Caolan.”

“Unfortunately things took a very bad turn and today poor Caolan left this cruel world. He passed away peacefully surrounded by all our family.

“We are totally heartbroken but so proud of our wee man.

“Thank you for all the support and we please ask everyone to respect our privacy at this hard time.

“Sleep tight darling, free from pain and suffering from now on.”

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