Girl, 14, dies weeks after posing for her prom photo, leaving family heartbroken

When Connie was taken to the hospital, an MRI found significant swelling in her neck and her parents were told the surgery would take at least 12 hours

Connie at her prom just six weeks before her death
Connie at her prom just six weeks before her death

A heartbroken father has spoken out about the moment his teenage daughter died just six weeks after she posed for her prom photo.

Connie Holmes was 14 when she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer.

The schoolgirl had started experiencing pain in the left side of her body one day before she lost the ability to use her left hand.

Connie, from Bilton-in-Ainstry, a Borough of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, was sent to Leeds General Infirmary by her GP.

Here she was dealt a devastating blow and was told she had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare cancer that occurs in the bones or the soft tissues surrounding it.

Her father Tony Holmes, 59, has bravely spoken out about the grief he experienced following her death in August 2015.







Connie and her mom Judith
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Picture:

Holmes Family/MEN MEDIA)

“You cannot describe the grief when a child dies. It’s a veil and a mist,” he said.

“One just stumbles from one day to the next. It’s so important to look back on beautiful things – special moments, special memories, keeping them alive in your heart.”

When Connie was taken to the hospital, an MRI found a significant swelling on her neck, YorkshireLive reports.

“We were initially told it was probably benign but she needed immediate surgery and would be on the operating table for at least 12 hours,” continued Tony, a retired social worker.

“Connie just went pale with fear. After that, her oncologist came to us and told us as calmly and gently as possible that it was probably not benign.”







Connie and Harvey in Paris as part of their Make-A-Wish trip
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Picture:

Holmes Family/MEN MEDIA)

The operation confirmed that Connie’s tumor was malignant. She was then rushed into multiple rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Connie was then referred to Make-A-Wish, which facilitated a trip to Paris with her father, mother Judith and little brother Harvey in October 2014. Tragically, Connie relapsed not much later and died in August 2015.

Tony said: “Connie has always loved musicals and Les Miserables was her favourite.

“She just wanted to visit Paris and in particular to have dinner at the Eiffel Tower.

“The volunteer wish makers that came to Connie were great. She found it hard to choose a wish, but they made her believe that she deserved to have whatever wish she wanted.

“After her death, the memory of that journey brought us so much comfort. Having the pictures to look back on – these things can be a light in the darkest of days.

“Her brother Harvey chose to do a short animation of this journey at the grief group he attended. Even years later, the memories of that time help keep her a part of our family and stay alive in our minds, our memories and our hearts. “







Connie, dad Tony, mom Judith and little brother Harvey in Paris before she died
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Picture:

Holmes Family/MEN MEDIA)

Tony plans to run the Great North Run this fall Raise money for Make-A-Wish. He will run alongside Connie’s brother Harvey and their childhood friend David, as well as David’s father Ian.

“Whether you are donating, fundraising or volunteering with Make-A-Wish UK, knowing that you are helping a critically ill child create special memories with their family is a privilege,” added Tony.

June 1-7 was Volunteer Week and since then Make-A-Wish has been calling for volunteers to help children like Connie.

Emma Vizor, Volunteer Engagement Lead at Make-A-Wish UK said: “Our vision is a world where every discerning child like Connie makes their wish come true. But with over 60,000 UK children eligible for a wish, we currently do not have enough volunteers to make this vision a reality. At the moment, donate your time is as powerful an impact on achieving our vision as donations and fundraising.

“As Tony’s story demonstrates, the power of a wish brings light and joy to children and their loved ones, leaving a profound and lasting impact on their entire lives. through a visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk/volunteer Today you can begin to play an important role in this process and help light up the darkness for seriously ill children and their families across the UK.”

To donate to Tony’s fundraiser, visit his Just Giving page here.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/girl-14-dies-weeks-after-27174951 Girl, 14, dies weeks after posing for her prom photo, leaving family heartbroken

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