The mother of a tragic toddler who lost his battle with cancer said her cherished little boy will always be a special part of his parents’ lives.
Elisa-Marie Meynell, 21, and her partner Daniel Woodhead, 29, were left devastated when their son, two-year-old Elliot Woodhead, closed his eyes for the last time.
Elisa-Marie, of South Sea Road, Flamborough, said: “It’s been really hard. You have to re-adjust to everything.
“You are used to having a child there and looking after them – then they are taken away from you.”
Elliot was diagnosed with myeloid leukaemia when he was just 14 months old, after his parents noticed he had stopped eating and drinking.
Doctors initially thought Elliot had pneumonia - but a blood test revealed an abnormality and the brave tot was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary.
Further tests were carried out and on July 27, 2014, Elliot was diagnosed with myeloid leukaemia. His mum said she was devastated on hearing the news.
“We were told to prepare for the worst,” she said.
“We had to stay in hospital, he couldn’t come home. He had to get a Hickman line in his stomach which he got the chemotherapy through.”
Elliot stayed in hospital through to October and received intensive chemotherapy as well as blood and platelet transfusions.
Elisa-Marie said: “After the first round of treatment he went into remission. But he had to carry on or it would come back.
“Throughout the whole process you would not think he was suffering. He was so happy throughout it all.”
Despite making good progress, on June 15 last year, Elliot was playing at home in the garden when he took a turn for the worse and his condition deteriorated rapidly.
He was taken to Scarborough Hospital and then Leeds General Infirmary, where he was placed in an induced coma.
“He had stopped breathing on his own,” said Elisa-Marie, “he was on life-support.
“That was the only thing keeping him alive and we were told to make a decision.
“When we were ready, we turned off the life-support. We just knew he would not wake up again. It was heartbreaking.”
Elliot passed away on Wednesday June 17 - just two days after being taken ill again.
His devastated parents then had to explain to Elliot’s seven-year-old stepbrother, Tyler, that his baby brother would not be coming home.
Elisa-Marie said: “We tell Tyler that Elliot is up there with the angels and he is watching him. We gave him a necklace and tell him if he talks to it, then Elliot can hear him.”
But Elliot’s mum and dad said they will always hold their little boy dear and every year, on Elliot’s birthday, they plan to hold a celebration at his grave.
“We decorated his grave. We did Halloween and Christmas for him - we take Tyler and the cousins down to the grave and do it as a family thing.”
Elisa-Marie is due to give birth to a baby boy on August 9, and said the prospect of a new life is helping the family cope with their loss.
The couple have also lent their support to family friend Jamie Calderbank, who is planning a sky-dive in June to raise money for the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group.
He said: “It’s dedicated to Elliot and his mum and dad think it’s brilliant. I had to ask them first, but they said it would help them.”
Jamie is also holding a family fun day at The Globe Inn on May 14 to raise money for the charity by providing face painting, raffles, a cake sale, a bouncy castle and more.