Wednesday 18 September 2019

'We are just heartbroken and numb' - Parents prepare for death of fifth child from mystery illness

Lacey Pollock
Lacey Pollock

Victoria Leonard

A couple who lost four children to a mystery illness are asking for the public's help to fill their last daughter's final week of life with special wishes.

Lacey Pollock (4) is in the Royal Victoria Hospital's paediatric unit, and has just a few days left to live.

Jamie Pollock with daughter Lacey
Jamie Pollock with daughter Lacey

Her mum Jamie (35) and dad Mark (41), who are from Dundonald, are asking people to help grant wishes to make precious memories of their last days together.

The family have already lost four of Lacey's siblings, aged between nine weeks and 13, to the undiagnosed condition.

Lacey also has four brothers, who do not suffer from the condition.

Jamie said she was "heartbroken" at the prospect of losing a fifth child.

"On Saturday doctors told us Lacey has only a week to live," she said. "She was born with a disorder which claimed the lives of her three sisters and brother, but it has never been diagnosed by medics, as genetic tests and scans show up normal.

"We lost Lacey's brother Jordan at the age of 11 months in 2001 - he was our first child.

"We lost her oldest sister Jamie-Lee in 2014 at the age of 13, while her sister Ellie died in 2011 at six, and Lexi passed away in 2012 at just nine weeks.

"The children couldn't walk or talk, had breathing difficulties and were peg fed.

"Lacey has spent more than half her short life in hospital and now she only has a matter of days left.

"All of our kids were precious, and we are just heartbroken and numb that we are going to lose Lacey as well."

Jamie described Lacey as a "princess" who, despite battling poor health, "smiles all the time".

"She is lovely and her brothers Kane (10), Zack (9), Ollie (6) and Mark (1) all dote on her," she added.

"She's on a ventilator now and heavily sedated, but she can still hear us and would give a wee smile and poke her tongue out."

Lacey's illness has also been hard for her brothers, who have seen several siblings pass away.

"They are very compassionate and part of their lives is mummy and daddy going to hospital," Jamie said.

"We are trying to do something special for all our kids every day, and local people have helped fulfil our wishes - we have had Peppa Pig, a troll mascot and the Belfast Giants visited yesterday.

"We couldn't get Ed Sheeran, so a doctor from the Ulster Hospital, where she was previously treated, came with a guitar and amazingly she opened her eyes. The nurses couldn't believe it."

The family have just a couple of wishes left on their list.

"Lacey and the boys met Carl Frampton at Christmas and they loved him, so even to get a message from him would be great," she added.

"We are looking for sensory items for Lacey, and anything to do with wrestling, boxing or football for the boys. We would also like to create a memory garden at our home and have created a GoFundMe page on Justgiving called Lacey's Wish.

"Our grave at Roselawn is full now, so we are going to have Lacey cremated and brought home.

"We want to have somewhere special to remember all our children."

Belfast Telegraph

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