Ashley Cain says daughter Azaylia saved his life in tribute after her death from leukaemia – Daily Mail

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Ashley Cain has penned an emotional tribute to his daughter Azaylia after she tragically passed away from acute myeloid leukaemia over the weekend.

The Ex On The Beach star, 30, penned a lengthy post thanking his baby girl for ‘saving his life and giving him purpose,’ after revealing on Sunday she’d died aged just eight months.

Former footballer Ashley and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, had been updating fans on their baby girl’s health condition since she was diagnosed with the rare form of blood cancer at just two months old.

Moving: Ashley Cain has penned an emotional tribute to his daughter Azaylia after she tragically passed away from acute myeloid leukaemia over the weekend

Moving: Ashley Cain has penned an emotional tribute to his daughter Azaylia after she tragically passed away from acute myeloid leukaemia over the weekend

Moving: Ashley Cain has penned an emotional tribute to his daughter Azaylia after she tragically passed away from acute myeloid leukaemia over the weekend

Ashley shared an image of little Azaylia’s hand clasped in his with the tot wearing a personalised babygro.

He wrote: ‘My heart is shattered. You gave my life purpose, my face a smile, filled my heart with love and my soul with pride.

‘I can’t put into words my sadness and pain, there aren’t words to describe it. I love you with every ounce of my body and I miss you so much already.

‘You made me a better man. You made me the person I’ve always wanted to be. You’ve taught me more in your 8 months than I’ve learned my whole life.

‘I don’t know why you’ve been taken away from me and my heart aches in your absence.

Emotional: The Ex On The Beach star penned a lengthy post thanking his baby girl for 'saving his life and giving him purpose' after her death on Saturday aged eight months

Emotional: The Ex On The Beach star penned a lengthy post thanking his baby girl for 'saving his life and giving him purpose' after her death on Saturday aged eight months

Emotional: The Ex On The Beach star penned a lengthy post thanking his baby girl for ‘saving his life and giving him purpose’ after her death on Saturday aged eight months

‘But I promise you that your name with live on. I will carry your name across every ocean, along every road, to the top of every mountain and across the whole globe. 

‘Your name will live, your legacy will be remembered and I will seek peace in living as your vessel to continue inspiring, giving strength, spreading joy and saving lives in your name, with your spirit, as your father until we meet again.

‘You saved my life, you really did. With my second chance, I make a promise to you that I will make yours live on in our hearts, our thoughts and our prayers.

‘I am blessed, I am honoured and I am privileged to be your father. I would go through all of the pain again and again. Because what you gave me in those 8 months will live with me for eternity.

‘Oh, oobee doo. I wanna be like you. I wanna walk like you, Talk like you, too. Azaylia Diamond Cain. Rest In Peace Princess. 10.08.20 – 24.04.21.’

'Rest in paradise, Princess': On Sunday Ashley and Safiyya revealed their daughter had tragically passed away after battling acute myeloid leukaemia for the majority of her life

'Rest in paradise, Princess': On Sunday Ashley and Safiyya revealed their daughter had tragically passed away after battling acute myeloid leukaemia for the majority of her life

‘Rest in paradise, Princess’: On Sunday Ashley and Safiyya revealed their daughter had tragically passed away after battling acute myeloid leukaemia for the majority of her life

Devastating: Ashley's girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee also shared a tribute to her baby girl, writing: 'Sweet dreams in paradise princess. Mummy loves you'

Devastating: Ashley's girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee also shared a tribute to her baby girl, writing: 'Sweet dreams in paradise princess. Mummy loves you'

Devastating: Ashley’s girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee also shared a tribute to her baby girl, writing: ‘Sweet dreams in paradise princess. Mummy loves you’

After the post, Ashley’s girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee also shared a tribute to her baby girl, writing: ‘Sweet dreams in paradise princess. Mummy loves you’

On Sunday Ashley and Safiyya revealed their daughter had tragically passed away on Saturday aged eight months after battling acute myeloid leukaemia for the majority of her life.

The reality TV star confirmed the tragic news on social media, writing: ‘Rest In Paradise Princess. I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven ❤️ #AzayliaDiamondCain.’ 

The couple recently raised more than £1.5 million to fund a trip to Singapore for life-saving transplant, but their little one became too unwell and doctors discovered tumours throughout her body. 

Azaylia – who inspired her father’s powerful ‘let’s go champ’ message – underwent four rounds of chemotherapy during her fight and was recently nominated for a Pride Of Britain Award by thousands of supporters around the world. 

Tragic: Former footballer Ashley, 30, and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, had been updating fans on their baby girl's health condition (pictured earlier this year)

Tragic: Former footballer Ashley, 30, and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, had been updating fans on their baby girl's health condition (pictured earlier this year)

Tragic: Former footballer Ashley, 30, and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, had been updating fans on their baby girl’s health condition (pictured earlier this year)

The ex Coventry City winger and the aesthetic practitioner uploaded similar images of themselves cradling their little one before she passed.

Azaylia’s mother Safiyya shared two photos cuddling her beloved daughter, with the caption: ‘You are my Angel my heartbeat my soul, RIP my precious baby, you will always be with me like a handprint on my heart.’

Celebrities including Molly-Mae Hague, Kate Ferdinand and Alesha Dixon sent their condolences to the grieving influencer and his family. 

Love Island star Molly, who donated £1,000 towards Azaylia’s proposed treatment, wrote: ‘Heaven has gained the sweetest angel, My heart is broken.’

The YouTuber took to her Stories by reposting a quote by R. H. Sin from Ashley’s page, which said: ‘She’s proof that you can walk through hell and still be an angel’. 

Former TOWIE star Kate wrote: ‘So heartbroken for you all, rest in eternal peace beautiful Azaylia. Sending you so much love’, while musician Alesha added: ‘Rest in eternal peace beautiful Azaylia. You’ve touched all of our hearts little lion.’ 

'You are my angel, my heartbeat, my soul': Azaylia mother Safiyya also shared two photos cuddling her beloved daughter

'You are my angel, my heartbeat, my soul': Azaylia mother Safiyya also shared two photos cuddling her beloved daughter

‘You are my angel, my heartbeat, my soul’: Azaylia mother Safiyya also shared two photos cuddling her beloved daughter

Heartbreaking: The brave child had suffered seizures throughout the week, with her parents being told to 'make the most of this weekend' (pictured earlier this week)

Heartbreaking: The brave child had suffered seizures throughout the week, with her parents being told to 'make the most of this weekend' (pictured earlier this week)

Heartbreaking: The brave child had suffered seizures throughout the week, with her parents being told to ‘make the most of this weekend’ (pictured earlier this week)

'Sending you so much love': Celebrities including Kate Ferdinand, Jacqueline Jossa and Malin Andersson sent their condolences to the grieving influencer and his family

'Sending you so much love': Celebrities including Kate Ferdinand, Jacqueline Jossa and Malin Andersson sent their condolences to the grieving influencer and his family

‘Sending you so much love’: Celebrities including Kate Ferdinand, Jacqueline Jossa and Malin Andersson sent their condolences to the grieving influencer and his family

A timeline of Azaylia’s six-month leukaemia battle

October 2020: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a ‘rare and aggressive’ form of leukaemia, which he described as an ‘uphill battle’. 

Heartbreaking: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a 'rare and aggressive' form of leukaemia in October

Heartbreaking: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a 'rare and aggressive' form of leukaemia in October

Heartbreaking: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a ‘rare and aggressive’ form of leukaemia in October

Azaylia was turned away by doctors three times and prescribed laxatives and a nasal spray when her breathing was impeded, shortly before her diagnosis.

By the end of the month, the brave child faced her second surgery and 16th chemotherapy-related treatment in less than two weeks.

November 2020: Azaylia’s hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed.

Doctors informed Ashley and his family that the tot needed a bone marrow transplant and blood donation.

Due to her Caribbean, Burmese, Indian and English background, the footballer said it was very difficult to find a match for a transplant. 

Azaylia was brought home for a few days before her second round of chemotherapy.

December 2020: 80,000 people became stem cell donors 48 hours after Ashley appealed for the public’s help.

So sad: Azaylia's hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed in November

So sad: Azaylia's hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed in November

So sad: Azaylia’s hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed in November

January 2021: The TV star confirmed a stem cell donor had been found for his baby daughter Azaylia. 

She received her stem cell transplant but her cancer sadly returned following a third round of chemotherapy. 

February 2021: Azaylia responded well to her stem cell treatment and doctors were impressed with ‘how strong she was’. 

She underwent further surgery to discover whether her leukaemia had gone. Later in the month, doctors revealed her cancer had returned. 

March 2021: They were told there were ‘very few options’ to help the baby’s condition before she had another bone marrow test. She relapsed by the end of the month and underwent her fourth round of chemotherapy.

Ashley surpassed his target goal of £1million after he set up a GoFundMe to pay for life-saving treatment for his daughter Azaylia.

Heartbreaking: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours all over her body in April

Heartbreaking: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours all over her body in April

Heartbreaking: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours all over her body in April

The former Ex On The Beach star took to social media to ask fans for help in donating, explaining the treatment his daughter needed is available in Singapore.

Ashley described the treatment, CAR-T therapy, as ‘the only option to save Azaylia’s life’ and said he and partner Safiyya may have to fly out in a matter of weeks, adding it will take a minimum of one year.

Celebrities such as former TOWIE star Kate Ferdinand, Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague and PrettyLittleThing founder Umar Kamani all donated.

Despite efforts from around the world, pharmaceutical companies could not release the life-saving drugs needed to beat his daughter Azaylia’s battle. 

Tender moments: Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home later that month

Tender moments: Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home later that month

Tender moments: Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home later that month

April 2020: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours in her stomach, her spleen, her liver and her kidneys, in addition to tumours in her brain.

Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home.

They marked her turning eight months old by having moulds made of her feet, and Azaylia was met with support from the London Underground and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

She received life-prolonging transfusion after her condition caused profuse bleeding and public figures joined the nationwide clap held in her honour.

Scary: The influencer's 'fragile' daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death

Scary: The influencer's 'fragile' daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death

Scary: The influencer’s ‘fragile’ daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death

Azaylia was nominated for a Pride of Britain award and had a plane draw a heart in the sky for her.

The tot was put on oxygen to aid her sleep, and struggled to open her eyes due to swelling.

Scam artists set up fake Facebook pages in her name, with Ashley admitting: ‘We feel really sad it has come to this’.

Azaylia returned to hospital for another platelet transfusion a few days before she died.

The influencer’s ‘fragile’ daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death.

 

The brave child had suffered seizures throughout the week, with her parents being told to ‘make the most of this weekend’. 

The media personality updated his Instagram biography with the words: ‘Rest in Paradise Princess, Azaylia Diamond Cain, Forever In My Heart, 10.08.20 – 24.04.21’.  

Azaylia’s six-month battle against leukaemia inspired people all over the world, with more than 100,000 people joining the stem cell register. 

Her story attracted global support – with Hollywood superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson sending a video to Azaylia and her family. 

'My heart has broken': Molly-Mae Hague took to her Stories by reposting a quote from Ashley's page, which said: 'She's proof that you can walk through hell and still be an angel'

'My heart has broken': Molly-Mae Hague took to her Stories by reposting a quote from Ashley's page, which said: 'She's proof that you can walk through hell and still be an angel'

‘My heart has broken’: Molly-Mae Hague took to her Stories by reposting a quote from Ashley’s page, which said: ‘She’s proof that you can walk through hell and still be an angel’

'You've touched all of our hearts little lion': Alesha Dixon also paid tribute to the late baby

'You've touched all of our hearts little lion': Alesha Dixon also paid tribute to the late baby

‘You’ve touched all of our hearts little lion’: Alesha Dixon also paid tribute to the late baby

'Heartbroken for you mate': Stacey Solomon, Mario Falcone and Tinie Tempah also commented with compassionated messages

'Heartbroken for you mate': Stacey Solomon, Mario Falcone and Tinie Tempah also commented with compassionated messages

‘Heartbroken for you mate’: Stacey Solomon, Mario Falcone and Tinie Tempah also commented with compassionated messages

On Friday, Safiyya had said she felt ‘blessed’ to have another day with Azaylia, telling her followers: ‘Azaylia had another turn. But she’s now rested and asleep and literally it makes your heart race with anxiety.’

Laying next to her poorly daughter, the doting mother continued: ‘But she gets through another day, blessed, my princess. And I feel so blessed. I am lucky to spend another day with you Azaylia. Every day is precious with you.’ 

The Ex On The Beach star told his fans his tot ‘stopped breathing’, became ‘stiff as a board’ and needed oxygen while they headed out for a walk. 

In a lengthy caption, the social media star revealed his daughter needed the help of his palliative care nurses and oxygen after having a seizure. 

Moving: The media personality updated his Instagram biography with the words: 'Rest in Paradise Princess, Azaylia Diamond Cain, Forever In My Heart, 10.08.20 - 24.04.21'

Moving: The media personality updated his Instagram biography with the words: 'Rest in Paradise Princess, Azaylia Diamond Cain, Forever In My Heart, 10.08.20 - 24.04.21'

Moving: The media personality updated his Instagram biography with the words: ‘Rest in Paradise Princess, Azaylia Diamond Cain, Forever In My Heart, 10.08.20 – 24.04.21’

Fought for her life: Azaylia's six-month battle against leukaemia inspired people all over the world, with more than 100,000 people joining the stem cell register

Fought for her life: Azaylia's six-month battle against leukaemia inspired people all over the world, with more than 100,000 people joining the stem cell register

Fought for her life: Azaylia’s six-month battle against leukaemia inspired people all over the world, with more than 100,000 people joining the stem cell register

'My heart breaks for you': Her story attracted global support - with Hollywood superstar Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson sending a video to Azaylia and her family

'My heart breaks for you': Her story attracted global support - with Hollywood superstar Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson sending a video to Azaylia and her family

‘My heart breaks for you’: Her story attracted global support – with Hollywood superstar Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson sending a video to Azaylia and her family

Overwhelmed: As of Sunday, his GoFundMe fundraiser for his eight-month-old's treatment hit nearly £1.6million

Overwhelmed: As of Sunday, his GoFundMe fundraiser for his eight-month-old's treatment hit nearly £1.6million

Overwhelmed: As of Sunday, his GoFundMe fundraiser for his eight-month-old’s treatment hit nearly £1.6million 

Ashley Cain’s fundraiser for daughter Azaylia’s leukaemia treatment – who donated?

PrettyLittleThing founder Umar Kamani – £20,000

InTheStyle’s Adam Frisby – £10,000

Chet Johnson (Faded Clothing) – £10,000

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw –  £5,000

Mrs Hinch – £3,000 

Kate and Rio Ferdinand – £1,000

Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague – £1,000 

Love Island star Maura Higgins –£1,000 

Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed – £1,000 

Watford forward Andre Gray – £1,000

Nottingham Forest defender Cyrus Christie – £1,000 

West Bromwich Albion’s Robert Snodgrass – £1,000

Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden – £1,000

Ex On The Beach star Jemma Lucy – £1,000

JLS star Marvin Humes – £500 

He wrote: ‘We had our own little adventure today, even if it was just walking up and down the street. It was special! 

‘I thought we’d make the most of the sun today and have a little walk, as nurses came and told us this morning, to make the most of this weekend as Azaylia is becoming very fragile. 

‘Shortly after these photos were taken Azaylia had a seizure. Her eyes rolled back, she stopped breathing and her body went as stiff as a board. We put her on oxygen straight away and called for the oncall nurses. 

‘After a few hours of close observation we managed to settle her. This has happened a few times now, but it never gets any easier. 

 

Worrying: The Ex On The Beach star told his fans the tot 'stopped breathing' during a brief walk outside in an Instagram post on Friday

Worrying: The Ex On The Beach star told his fans the tot 'stopped breathing' during a brief walk outside in an Instagram post on Friday

Worrying: The Ex On The Beach star told his fans the tot ‘stopped breathing’ during a brief walk outside in an Instagram post on Friday 

Family first: The influencer shared a gallery of images of his little girl nestled in her pram while they enjoyed the short outing

Family first: The influencer shared a gallery of images of his little girl nestled in her pram while they enjoyed the short outing

Family first: The influencer shared a gallery of images of his little girl nestled in her pram while they enjoyed the short outing

Ordeal: Later, Ashley also shared a video of his daughter settled next to him in the living room, writing: 'Her strength to keep bouncing back is incredible!'

Ordeal: Later, Ashley also shared a video of his daughter settled next to him in the living room, writing: 'Her strength to keep bouncing back is incredible!'

Ordeal: Later, Ashley also shared a video of his daughter settled next to him in the living room, writing: ‘Her strength to keep bouncing back is incredible!’

‘Yet she continues to battle through! Your determination inspires me. You impress me each and every day. I’m so proud of you. I can’t imagine my life without you. I have faith in you. My Champion. My Hero. I love you.’

Later, Ashley also shared a video of his daughter settled next to him in the living room, writing: ‘Another scary moment with the oncall nurses out. 

‘Now she’s settled and sleeping again. Her strength to keep bouncing back is incredible! I ain’t got no plans of this little one going anywhere this weekend.’  

He said: ‘The palliative care team told us to make the most of the weekend and you understand what that message means the fact of the matter is we make the most of her everyday, we make the most of everyday…

‘I tell you what, I got no plans for her going anywhere this weekend. I’m an optimist. I’m a believer. I’ve got a positive mind frame and I know her strength. I know mine…

‘I ain’t thinking them things because I don’t have to be told to make a special effort to enjoy her because I enjoy her every day. I ain’t got no plans of this little one going anywhere this weekend, trust me. Let’s go champ, the things you have to do.’ 

The father revealed her temperature spiked shortly after a hospital trip, before happening again when they reached home – causing a nursing team to monitor her until 1am. 

Ashley admitted ‘there’s a lot you don’t see’ as he detailed the recent ordeal in an Instagram clip on Thursday during a 5k run after feeling ‘pain, stress and depression.

The former sportsman explained: ‘Yesterday we got into hospital, got our platelets done and managed to sort her NG tube out, thankfully.  

'There is no easy day on this journey': On Wednesday, the sportsman revealed Azaylia had returned to hospital again after being unable to feed through her tube

'There is no easy day on this journey': On Wednesday, the sportsman revealed Azaylia had returned to hospital again after being unable to feed through her tube

‘There is no easy day on this journey’: On Wednesday, the sportsman revealed Azaylia had returned to hospital again after being unable to feed through her tube

‘Then just as we were getting back into the car she had a spike in temperature and a seizure, her eyes were rolling, she was hot, she wasn’t breathing. 

‘We had to get her on the oxygen straight away – she settled then when we got home it happened again and we ended up having a nurse from the palliative care team at our house until 1am.’

On how Azaylia’s condition is affecting his mental health, the TV star went on: ‘It’s difficult, man – there’s a lot you don’t see, there’s a lot you wouldn’t want to see. 

‘It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no breaks, but it’s all worth it because guess what? She woke up again this morning. All the hard work we’re putting in now, it’s worth it in the end to get that little smile, her eyes opening – it’s amazing. 

Special memories: The campaigner recently uploaded shared a picture of the moment Azaylia met her cousin Anaya

Special memories: The campaigner recently uploaded shared a picture of the moment Azaylia met her cousin Anaya

Special memories: The campaigner recently uploaded shared a picture of the moment Azaylia met her cousin Anaya

‘It’s been months, but the last few days especially I’ve woken up feeling pain, stress, depression, that’s been consuming my mind as well as my body – stopping me from doing the things that were second nature to me, and I don’t like it.’ 

He added that his little one’s resilience was keeping him going as he added: ‘I’m going to get up, get out, and get at it – getting out today in the hope that when I walk back in my house, I’m going to be the best me that I can be for my daughter.

‘I can give her the energy, commitment, and positivity, and I can help carry this ship to where it’s gonna be. Let’s go champ, we’re still in the game.’ 

Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a ‘rare and aggressive’ form of leukaemia last October, which he described as an ‘uphill battle’. 

Doctors informed the athlete and his family that the tot needed a bone marrow transplant and blood donation. 

In January, she received her stem cell transplant but her cancer sadly returned following a third round of chemotherapy. 

She underwent further surgery to discover whether her leukaemia had gone, but in February, healthcare professionals revealed her cancer had returned.

The former Ex On The Beach star took to social media to ask fans for help in donating, explaining the treatment his daughter needed is available in Singapore. 

Despite efforts from around the world, pharmaceutical companies could not release the life-saving drugs needed to beat his daughter Azaylia’s battle. 

Candid: Ashley showed the extensive medication his terminally-ill daughter Azaylia had to have on social media

Candid: Ashley showed the extensive medication his terminally-ill daughter Azaylia had to have on social media

Candid: Ashley showed the extensive medication his terminally-ill daughter Azaylia had to have on social media

During her last days, she received life-prolonging transfusion after her condition caused profuse bleeding and public figures joined the nationwide clap held in her honour. 

The tot was put on oxygen to aid her sleep, and struggled to open her eyes due to swelling.

Scam artists set up fake Facebook pages in her name, with Ashley admitting: ‘We feel really sad it has come to this’.

Azaylia returned to hospital for another platelet transfusion a few days before she died.

For help and support caring for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, please contact Together for Short Lives on 0808 8088 100 or visit www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk. 

Poor baby: Doctors had found tumours in Azaylia's stomach, her spleen, her liver and her kidneys, in addition to tumours in her brain, as the chemotherapy wasn't working

Poor baby: Doctors had found tumours in Azaylia's stomach, her spleen, her liver and her kidneys, in addition to tumours in her brain, as the chemotherapy wasn't working

Poor baby: Doctors had found tumours in Azaylia’s stomach, her spleen, her liver and her kidneys, in addition to tumours in her brain, as the chemotherapy wasn’t working

What are the symptoms of leukaemia in children?

Fatigue and pale skin – this is because leukaemia can cause anaemia which makes a child feel weak, tired and light-headed.

Infections and fever – children with leukaemia lack normal white blood cells which would normally help fight infection.

Rash – children may have small, dark spots that look like common rashes if the leukemia cells spread to the skin   

Easy bruising or bleeding – this includes frequent nosebleeds, bleeding gums and bleeding a lot from small cuts.

Bone or joint pain – this is caused by a build up of leukaemia cells near the surface of the bone or inside the joint.

Swelling of the abdomen – leukaemia cells may collect in the liver and spleen causing them to enlarge.

Loss of appetite and weight loss – if the spleen and liver swell, they can press against the stomach causing loss of appetite.

Swollen lymph nodes – some leukaemias spread to the lymph nodes causing them to swell.

Source: American Cancer Society 

 

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