A HEARTBROKEN family have paid loving tribute to their 16-year-old daughter whose battle with leukaemia became “one fight too many”.
Solihull schoolgirl Natalie Loftus, who had Down’s Syndrome, died on November 8 after a seasonal bug developed into a chest infection and eventually pneumonia.
A Requiem Mass was held yesterday, Thursday 19, in memory of the tragic teen.
A pupil at Reynalds Cross School since the age of two-and-a-half, Natalie’s upbeat approach to life has left a hole in the hearts of all those who knew her.
Parents Deborah, 46 and Kevin, 48, said: “She was a real little character and everybody knew her,” said Kevin. “She was a constant presence.”
Brave Natalie suffered a number of illnesses in her short life, from when she was born with cataracts losing her sight in one eye.
She suffered from absesses and glaucoma and was diagnosed with leukaemia when she was just ten years-old.
“The nurses at that time couldn’t understand when it didn’t seem to bother her,” said Kevin. “Even with such a traumatic thing as losing her hair, Natalie didn’t care less - she loved her baseball caps.”
Natalie underwent a full course of chemotherapy for two years before beginning a three-year maintenance course.
Tragically, she completed two and a half years when she suffered a relapse aged 14.
Upon hearing the news she instructed her family: “No more crying”.
“That was a very bitter blow,” said Kevin. “We had started to think we could look six months ahead, at the end. The doctors were very disappointed. We knew the day would come, but it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Deborah said: “We have to be grateful we had her for 16 years. She was struggling and in the end - she had nothing left to fight it.
Donations in memory of Natalie can be made to Solihull Down’s Syndrome Support Group.