Leeds family raises £17,000 for funeral of 'happiest' two-year-old daughter who died after sudden illness
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Leila Rose Mae Normington was taken ill four weeks ago, when it was discovered that she had meningitis and sepsis. The young girl spent two weeks in hospital before returning home. However, less than two weeks later, she was taken ill again and had to return. It was in hospital that she suffered a seizure.
A CT scan found that Leila had a swell on the brain which was causing brain damage. Her family, from Wetherby, were told that there was nothing more that doctors could do to save her. She died on July 25.
Leila’s grieving parents Sarah and Mark were left devastated by her passing and a fundraiser was subsequently set up by a friend of the family.
The tragic loss of their daughter came just weeks after Sarah’s mother Rose died, which brought further grief and financial strain.
Initially, the fundraiser was set up because there was “not enough funds left to give Leila the send off that her whole family needs”.
However, as thousands of pounds were accumulated, an update added to the page by friend of the family Hannah Gee said: “We are completely overwhelmed by the response we have had. It’s so heartwarming to see how our community has come together like this.
“There are too many to thank individually, but I just want to say thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, we are so unbelievably grateful. We want to keep this amazing fundraiser going and many people have asked us to raise the target.
“This money is not only going to give Leila a beautiful send off, but it is taking such a massive weight off of the shoulders of her parents.
“While they are both off work and taking time to grieve and process this horrific news, this is giving them time to take it without any extra pressures and burdens and hopefully help with a small part of their grief.”
The Yorkshire Evening Post understands that the Leeds United squad are among the recent donors, having contributed more than £4,000.
The fundraiser explained that Leila’s birth was against all odds, as her parents had tried to conceive for 10 years and had undergone multiple failed attempts at IVF. However, Sarah later became pregnant naturally and Leila was born on October 6 2020.
She was profoundly deaf, but underwent major surgery when she was just one to give her cochlear implants. Leila was described as “the happiest, most intelligent little girl with the most infectious smile”.
She loved spending time at a caravan with her parents and grandparents, as well as with her cousins and best friend – Eddie the chihuahua.
The fundraiser, with a target of £20,000, will continue running as it was explained that any additional funds would allow Leila’s parents time to grieve while they are off work. To donate, go to the family’s fundraising page.