06:09PM, Thursday 15 March 2018
The short life of a ‘little fighter’ with an infectious personality will be celebrated on Tuesday.
Eighteen-month-old Maggie-Mae Morgan died peacefully at home in Holyport on Friday after a bone marrow transplant failed to save her.
Her family now hopes to make ‘the world a better place’ and create a legacy for the toddler by helping other sick children.
When Maggie-Mae was just 10 days old she was diagnosed with leukaemia but responded well to treatment and recovered.
But she was diagnosed with the disease again in September, a few days after her first birthday.
In December, a match for a bone marrow donor was found in Canada but the woman was snowed in and the transplant was postponed.
This meant the family was able to be home together for Christmas and the 16th birthday of Maggie-Mae’s brother Maison Turner.
In her time at home, the toddler started walking, before going back into hospital on February 17 to prepare for the bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy.
She had the transplant on Thursday, March 1, but over the next two days her temperature and white blood cell count shot up.
On Monday, March 5, her parents Leah and David Morgan were told it was the leukaemia.
“All of us were so shocked because there were so many times she bounced back.
“We were just hoping that by some miracle these donor cells would kick in,” said David.
The family gathered at Great Ormond Street Hospital on Thursday, March 8, and were given a big room where they sang and reminisced together.
Maggie-Mae was able to go home the next afternoon with a doctor and nurses on hand.
David, Leah and Maison sat with Maggie-Mae watching her favour-ite film Frozen while the rest of the family gathered at the house.
At about 9.30pm that evening Maggie-Mae died at home, holding her brother’s hand just as the song Let it Go started.
Leah said: “That was when she died. She let go. It was amazing how poignant that song felt.”
Now her family wants to help other sick children in her memory.
“I remember looking at her when she was born. She was really sick and we were told she wouldn’t make it through the night.
“Although she was so young and was taken so early we really did get a chance to know her,” said Leah. “I really don’t think any of us missed a moment with her. She had a really happy life considering, and in that short time she had a lot of fun. Now we know what [the leukaemia] was capable of we know we were so lucky.
“Not that anything can make it better but the only thing that could make this manageable would be to make a legacy for her, making the world a better place.”
Maggie-Mae captured the attention of people around Maidenhead and her family wants to keep fund-raising in her memory.
In the past year Leah and David have raised more than £4,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Now the couple are asking people to donate to a fund to get two little girls they met at the
hospital treatment in America in memory of their daughter.
“We have been overwhelmed by the response from so many people,” said David.
“Maggie-Mae had an infectious personality and people called her our little fighter.”
Before Christmas, Cox Green mum Sandra Vollrath and Danesfield School in Marlow arranged donor drives and David estimates more than 80 people signed up to the bone marrow register.
Another 150 people signed up to the register at two donor drives organised by Suzanne Wrigglesworth at Manor Green School.
There will be a public celebration of Maggie-Mae’s life at 3pm on Tuesday in GreenAcres, Beaconsfield, followed by a private cremation in Maidenhead.
Leah asked everyone who attends the celebration to make a pledge to make the world a happier place in a way they see fit.
The family has set up a fund-raising page in Maggie-Mae’s memory at www.gofundme.com/in-memory-of-maggiemae-morgan
Sandra Vollrath is calling on people to decorate their houses and wear red on the day.
See www.facebook.com/events/151059035587115 for more details.
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