Coleen Rooney's sister Rosie (14) dies at her home
Published 05/01/2013 | 14:51
THE 14-year-old sister of Coleen Rooney has died after a lifelong battle with a rare genetic disorder, a family spokesman said today.
Rosie McLoughlin, who had Rett syndrome, died at her home in Liverpool in the early hours of this morning surrounded by her family, the spokesman said.
A statement issued on behalf of Coleen, her husband, Manchester United star Wayne, and the rest of Rosie's family, said they had been left "heartbroken" by the teenager's death.
"She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all," the statement said.
"We shall cherish forever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life."
The family thanked staff at Liverpool's Alder Hey Hospital and Claire House Children's Hospice in Wirral, Merseyside, where Rosie was treated and asked for privacy at this "sad and difficult time".
Their statement read: "Sadly our special angel Rosie, our much loved daughter and sister went to heaven at 2.50am this morning at home where she was surrounded by her loving family.
"Rosie was just 14 years old and fought a lifelong battle with Rett syndrome. Throughout her life she brought so much love and happiness to all our family and everyone who knew and met her.
"As a family we are heartbroken but we are blessed to have had her in our lives."
It continued: "The family would like to thank everyone involved in Rosie's life for their love and support and for their messages of heartfelt condolence today.
"We would also like to thank the many doctors, consultants, nurses, helpers and friends who all worked so hard and tirelessly to help make Rosie's life better."
Rosie's illness inspired adopted sister Coleen and her husband Wayne, the Manchester United and England footballer, to help raise funds for sick, disadvantaged and disabled children.
The couple reportedly told guests at their wedding that instead of gifts they wanted donations to Claire House Children's Hospice and Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
Rett syndrome is a neurological disorder that affects just one in 12,000 females, according to the NHS. It causes severe physical and mental disability that begins in early childhood.