Family’s grief after death of three-year-old Isabelle

Little Isabelle Ashton-Buxton who died in hospital on Thursday
Little Isabelle Ashton-Buxton who died in hospital on Thursday

The family of a courageous Blackpool girl have said goodbye to their ‘warrior princess’ after a long battle with cancer.

Isabelle Ashton-Buxton, three, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease in March last year.

I feel lost for words. I feel empty

The brave youngster fought back from the brink when she opened her eyes from a five-week-long coma last month – but her health took a sudden turn for the worse, and she died at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool on Thursday.

Heartbroken mum Latitia Ashton, 24, from Blackpool, said: “Her body just couldn’t take it any more. She had a bad reaction to the treatment; she was really struggling to breathe and her lungs were inflamed.

“I feel lost for words. I feel empty.”

The youngster was unable to have a lung transplant due to being on a ventilator for such a long time, and Latitia and dad Tony Buxton, 23, had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye to their little girl.

Latitia said: “The life support machines were turned off as she was slowly going and we wanted to give her a painless and peaceful goodbye.

“She was a lovely, happy girl. She loved to play on her iPad and make things out of Play-doh. I’ll remember her cheekiness and her happiness most of all.

“We’re bearing with it as well as we can. I have a one-year-old son, Lucas, and I have to stay strong for him.

“My parents and friends have been very supportive. We’ve had hundreds of people sending us messages. It’s unbelievable.” A dedicated Disney fan, Isabelle loved the colour pink and watching her favourite films, Beauty and the Beast and Mulan.

Latitia said: “Her favourite princess was Belle because she had the same name.”

Isabelle’s godfather Barry Davenport, 27, raised more than £6,000 in the hope of treating his ‘warrior princess’ to a dream holiday to Disneyland Resort Paris to meet her heroes.

The ‘Fund-raiser for Blackpool’s Princess Isabelle’ at the Excelsior Pub on Lytham Roaddrew in well-wishers from all across the resort, and the family’s online fund-raiser almost doubled its original £1,000 goal. Ladbrokes manager Barry, who lives off Bloomfield Road, said: “Isabelle was the biggest fighter ever. She was our warrior princess.

“Some of us are even going to have the words ‘warrior princess’ on our ties at the funeral in her honour.

“She was a bubbly, mischievous, caring little girl. She was always helping out other children and sharing her toys and loved to have a cuddle. I love her to pieces.”

Isabelle’s funeral will take place later this month, with guests donning bright pink clothes in her memory.

People who wish to donate to childhood cancer research in Isabelle’s name are asked to visit www.neuroblastoma.org.uk.