Mother cuddles body of five-year-old daughter for hours before donating her brain for research
Clare Gregory cuddled little Olivia for hours after she had passed away because the girl was too ill and didn't like being touched in the months leading up to her death
A heartbroken mother cuddled the body of her five-year-old daughter who passed away after being diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. Clare Gregory cuddled and stroked little Olivia's hair as she lay in her arms in a pair of pajamas only a few hours after she had passed away at home.
Olivia lived with the aggressive brain tumor for a year after she was diagnosed. The cancer was located in her brain stem which made it inoperable and very difficult to counter via chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Olivia had a 0 percent chance of survival and tragically passed away just weeks before her sixth birthday. As reported by Mirror, Clare shared, "My heart was shattered. Olivia was dead but I loved being able to cuddle her again".
"I hadn’t been able to do that for two months as she’d been so ill she didn't want anyone touching her. I cradled her like a new-born baby as Tony drove with our other daughter, Eva, beside him," she added. The family also spent some time with Olivia once they had placed her in a special chilled bed at the Little Havens Hospice. Her body was then taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital in order to donate her brain to the INSTINCT programme.
Clare opened up about her last precious moments with her daughter and wants to encourage others to donate their organs to hopefully be able to save another family the pain and grief of loss. Olivia's friends and family started a GoFundMe page in order to raise some money to help her tick some things off her bucket list and were able to raise more than £11,000 in around six days.
The family spent a lot of their time trying to create some happy and positive memories for Olivia. They visited Lapland UK, vacationed in Marrakesh, and also swam with dolphins in Dubai.
"Despite everything, there was still plenty of laughter – Olivia had a wicked sense of humor and loved lip-synching to her favorite group Little Mix’s songs. And she and Eva were so funny together," Clare shared.
Clare also shared that she met another mother on a Facebook support group who told her that her adult daughter had also donated her brain for research. The chief executive of 'The Brain Tumour Charity' Sarah Lindsell said, "We are all very touched by Olivia’s heart-breaking story and so grateful to Clare and Tony for sharing it to highlight how vital brain donation is for research into brain tumors — cancer is the biggest killer of children and under-40s in the UK".