The family of ‘beautiful and loving’ Isabelle Grundy have said a final heartbreaking farewell to a little girl who fought so bravely against all the odds.
At the age of six, Isabelle passed away last Monday afternoon (September 12) at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after battling with a rare and aggressive form of cancer. The youngster, of Thornton Cleveleys, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, in the summer of 2021 after a lump was discovered in her stomach.
The diagnosis, which has a 50 per cent survival rate, was followed by intensive treatment including chemotherapy and blood transplants. A huge fundraising campaign had been launched to help her get special treatment in America to ensure the best chance of survival with over £237 000 raised by the generous community but she sadly relapsed in June, and passed away last week.
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Her grieving father, Blaine Grundy, 36, said it was during a recent family holiday in the Lake District that he began to notice she was deteriorating. He told LancsLive: “While we were there, that was the point where I noticed that something wasn’t right. She was waking up at night and going from having Calpol just at night to having it four times a day.
“I remember clear as day, waking up in the middle of the night, and I felt a presence, and she was there. She touched my foot because she was sitting on the floor next to the bed in the lodge, and I jumped and took her to get some medication for her headache. She leant against a wall, and she was wobbly.
“She was so expressive, and she said my words, daddy, my words are jumbled in my head. I said, what do you mean, sweetheart, and she changed, she sort of forgot what she was saying, and she said, I had a dream.
“I said, come on, let’s get you back to bed. And she just wasn’t right.”
Isabelle’s condition continued to deteriorate, with mum Louisa, 34, taking her to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital when they returned. Isabelle was on very strong medication, heavily sedated and intubated, receiving CT scans over the next few days which showed tumours in her head and on her spine.
The brave youngster suffered numerous seizures, at one point suffering a long one whilst having an MRI scan. Blaine added: “I literally just dumped everything out of my pockets, because it’s an electro magnetic field. When I got to the door Louisa was coming straight out and she had her in her arms… The crash team came running in – they were super efficient but they had to wait.”
Her condition worsened, with more seizures, until it reached the point where Isabelle was heavily sedated. Blaine said: “She was in a lot of pain and her oxygen was dropping, so her heart rate was dropping. The last word she said to me was, I’m breathing, I’m breathing, and that was the last word she said to me.”
Making the most of the last, precious few hours with her, her loving family stayed by her side until she passed away on Monday afternoon. Blaine added: “We got to make some lovely memories with Isabelle; she didn’t respond, and she couldn’t, but there were moments when you could see signs.”
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Blaine told us: “I had my hand on her chest to feel for her heartbeat, and her heartbeat lasted until exactly o’clock on Monday.”Her grieving family spent the days afterwards in Brian House Children’s Hospice, Blackpool, where they spent precious time saying their goodbyes to Isabelle following her tragic passing.
Blaine told us: “I’ve cried, I’ve not slept, I’ve sat with her… we started a book a couple of weeks ago, so I’m trying to finish that now.
“I’d give anything to swap places and it be me instead of Isabelle – she didn’t deserve any of this. I think we are really struggling – we came home and it feels empty.
“We are trying to do things to keep our minds busy, but it’s so quiet. We were at the hospital every week and that part of it has come to a stop.”
Isabelle tragically left behind her devoted parents, Blaine and Louisa, and her loving ten year old brother Grayson. Her funeral will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, September 21) and be pink and white themed, and will see the brave six year old being taken on her final journey in a horse drawn carriage.
A church service will be held for Isabelle Faye Grundy at 10am on Wednesday, September 21 at St Teresa’s Church, Thornton Cleveleys, FY5 3JT, following which a burial service will take place at Carleton Crematorium on Stocks Lane at 11.30am in Poulton le Fylde, FY6 7QS.