A little girl who has waged an awe-inspiring fight for life over the past 18 months has finally lost her brave battle.
And this week mum Lorna Cobbett paid tribute to her little daughter Essie - one of triplets - who proved such a little fighter after being born with catastrophic brain damage.
Lorna and her husband Steve faced an uphill battle to bring Essie home to Horsham from hospital to join her siblings Roman and Eva after being told soon after Essie’s birth that her condition was life-limiting.
Lorna, 38, successfully fought for NHS care and the family also received support from the children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House where little Essie frequently stayed during her short life.
With the help of Chestnut Tree House, Lorna and Steve were able to bring Essie home for her final months before she lost her battle on August 13, aged 18 months.
And after a roller-coaster of joy and tears, the end came quickly. “She passed away at 2am,” said Lorna. “Essie means ‘star’ and Essie was with her nurse and they had just seen a meteorite.
“She fought so hard but she wanted to go and be a shooting star.”
Essie’s health had taken a turn for the worse back in March. “We thought we were going to lose her within hours,” said Lorna. “The fight that she put up is just awe-inspiring. I hope she will go on inspiring more people.”
The past four months were “horrific but at the same time we are so thankful for the extra time we had that gave us more memories. That extra time allowed her brother and sister to be able to say Essie’s name, and to say it to her.” Now brother Roman and sister Eva “will always be her legacy,” says Lorna. Roman and Eva released balloons at a celebration of Essie’s life at Worthing Crematorium last week.
And the family has pledged to carry on ‘Team Essie’ - formed by family and friends to raise funds for Chestnut Tree House. “We have over 100 people running the Littlehampton 10k this Sunday morning at 9.30am for Team Essie and we will be raising over £10k for Chestnut Tree House,” said Lorna. “I could not be more proud of how inspirational Essie continues to be and cannot wait to see the streets of Littlehampton filled with people wearing the red Team Essie T-shirt - which was Essie’s favourite colour.”