Thursday 14 December 2017

'We'll stay strong together' - parents of tragic baby Chloe who died from suspected heatstroke

Heartbroken dad carries Chloe’s coffin

Paul and Louise Fogarty
Paul and Louise Fogarty
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A seven-month-old girl who died in a freak accident in Co Tipperary was carried to the altar for her Mass of the Angels by her heartbroken father.

The tiny white coffin of Chloe Fogarty was carried to the altar of St Nicholas's Church in Solohead, Co Tipperary, by her distraught father Paul.

The coffin was gently placed before the altar where Mr Fogarty was comforted by Parish Priest Fr John Morris before 11.30am Mass.

Chloe's mother, Louise, supported by her husband, then paid an emotional tribute to her little girl saying she had to go because: "Heaven needed a very special angel."

"Chloe, our beautiful darling angel. I cannot believe we are all here today - almost two years ago Paul and I were married here," she said.

"Just a few months ago we celebrated your Christening. We were the happiest parents when you came along on September 30.

Staff of O’Dwyer Steel in Dundrum, County Tipperary, laid flowers at the scene of the tragedy. Photo: Mark Condren
Staff of O’Dwyer Steel in Dundrum, County Tipperary, laid flowers at the scene of the tragedy. Photo: Mark Condren

"This day, eight months ago, you were on your way into this world. You would be eight months old tomorrow.

"Chloe you switched on a happiness in us that we never knew we had. You were the most precious person in our lives - our beautiful, happy Chloe.

"You always had a smile on your face for everyone you met. You knew how to put a smile on everyone else's face too.

"We loved you so much and you had so much love to give.

"We never took any day for granted with you - each day was bright with you in it," she said.

"You were in safe hands in your crèche. You loved it there. You were the most inquisitive baby - so sociable. First in the door every morning. You loved to watch all your little pals come in one by one.

"Your face lit up when people talked to you. Your laugh was so infectious.

"You kept them busy in the crèche because you would only have little cat naps all day.

"You used to hold and cuddle your little muslin cloths which you used to relax with.

"Thirty minutes' nap was always enough for you - you always wanted to be up watching everything that was going on.

"You would hardly drink your bottles in case you would miss anything. You used to be all smiles every evening when daddy would come to collect you.

"You were the most easy-going baby - never any trouble. We went for our last swimming lesson last week and you were the only baby who didn't cry in the pool.

"We slept in your room on Thursday night and on Friday as we drew back the curtains there was an artificial rose petal on the floor. It was from nothing belonging to us - we can't explain where it came from.

"It is the strangest thing - we believe it was your way of saying you will always be with us.

"You are here by our side. Your gorgeous smile used to look up at us every morning. We will treasure every memory we have of you.

"I will cherish the scar on my tummy where you entered the world. Every time we close our eyes your beautiful face is all that we see.

"I don't how our lives will go on without you. They will never be the same. Paul and I will stay strong together because I know that is what you would want Chloe, our darling daughter.

"I am so sorry you had to go - we had such big hopes and dreams for your future. Heaven was missing an angel, a very special angel and they needed you.

"We will never forget you and your huge personality which shined through every day.

"I cannot wait until we can hold you tight in our arms again - mammy, daddy and your family love you.

"We will love you forever and never forget you. Sleep tight Chloe, our precious, beautiful daughter. I love you."

Chloe was discovered unresponsive in a parked car in Dundrum, Co Tipperary, shortly after 1pm on Thursday.

Despite being rushed by air ambulance to University Hospital Limerick (UHL), doctors were unable to save her.

Read more: 'Heaven needed a very special angel' - mum pays heartbreaking tribute at funeral of baby who died from suspected heatstroke

Thursday was the hottest day of the summer so far in Ireland.

Almost 500 mourners packed St Nicholas's Church for a funeral which Fr Morris said was one of the saddest in the church's 150-year history.

"Sometimes there are no words. Tears are the most eloquent," he said.

The Offertory Gifts included Chloe's two favourite teddies, a book of nursery rhymes and a combined Tipperary-Limerick jersey in tribute to where the little girl hailed from.

The mourners were led by Chloe's parents, Paul and Louise, her grandparents Helen and Christy McInerney and Mai and Joe Fogarty.

Irish Independent

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