AN INSPIRATIONAL four-year-old tot who battled a deadly brain tumour for more than six months has died a week before Christmas.
The devastated parents of little Ellese Mulligan-Green have paid tribute to their "beautiful little angel" who will be buried alongside her grandpa on Christmas Eve.
Ellese, who started at St Mary’s RC Primary School, Oswaldtwistle, in September, defied doctors who said she would never see school life after she was diagnosed with the tumour in June this year.
Since her diagnosis Ellese tackled every day with dignity until the tumour finally took away her ability to sit or walk.
Last Tuesday her mum Joanne, 40, who works for Hyndburn Homes, had to call out experts from Pendlebury Children’s Hospital, Manchester, as her condition worsened.
Doctors helped to make her comfortable at home before arranging to see her two days later.
During Thursday’s visit Joanne and her husband Phillip were told that the hospital was no longer able to offer Ellese any treatment.
Travelling back, Ellese became very sick which continued into the early evening.
Joanne said: "After we got back from Pendlebury I popped round to my mum’s to pick up my son Joshua.
"I couldn’t have been gone more than 30 minutes but when I got back Ellese was really struggling to breathe.
"I honestly think that at that moment she had had enough. She was tired and fed up of always feeling poorly.
"We were really concerned so we called her GP who made the decision to admit her to hospital. We talked about taking her to Pendlebury but he told us we didn’t have time. So we got an ambulance to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where she slipped away minutes later.
"I just can’t believe she isn’t here any more or that I won’t get to do the things she loves again.
"I won’t be able to take her shopping or have those important moments a mother has with a daughter. But we are glad she is out of her misery."
Ellese was moved to Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley on Thursday night and her family, including her little brother, who has just turned three, have stayed with her ever since.
Dad Phillip, 37, who works for Ultraframe of Clitheroe, said: "We have never left her side. Whatever we did we did it as a family. We were incredibly close.
"Every weekend since we found out she was poorly we have taken her away somewhere nice just so she wouldn’t be able to think about it.
"In my mind I never lost hope. I honestly thought we would be able to crack her illness and find her a cure. I have been in touch with doctors all over the world but everything takes time and unfortunately Ellese didn’t have any time left."
Her devastated family said they would remember Ellese as their "beautiful, special, brave, feisty little girl who battled on to the end despite what was thrown at her".
Only last week Ellese, who lived in Guide, had a special visit from Father Christmas at a surprise party thrown for her at the Peel Park pub in Accrington.
Her condition touched the hearts of thousands of Hyndburn residents who helped raise almost £13,000 in her name.
The special tot was given the opportunity to go on the holiday of a lifetime to Euro Disney to meet all her favourite Disney characters, courtesy of Accrington Rotary Club’s We Will Fix It panel and the Observer.
Joanne said: "We just can’t thank everyone enough for what they have done. The staff here at Derian House have been fantastic and so have the staff at every hospital we have been in.
"We would also like to thank both our employers for giving us the time to be with Ellese. There are so many people to thank – all our family and friends and everyone who has helped raise money for her."
There was due to be a Mass of Angels for Ellese at 10am on Christmas Eve at St Mary’s RC Church followed by a private burial at Accrington Cemetery. Family flowers only have been requested with donations to Derian House. Following her burial alongside her grandfather, family and friends will celebrate her life at the Peel Park pub.
Joanne added: "Ellese loved her grandpa and loved to be around him. It’s ironic really that he will have more time with her than we had. I hope there is a big turnout for her. She would have loved that."