Tributes flood in to 'little angel' Amelia SaundersBy Laura Herbert
January 09, 2013
Tributes have flooded in for ‘little angel’ Amelia Saunders, who lost her courageous battle with an incurable brain tumour on Sunday
The four-year-old died holding her parents’ Richard and Chantal’s hands at 9.50am at Naomi House Children’s Hospice.
The family shared the brave youngster’s journey and treatment in America through their Amelia’s Miracle Appeal.
Mr Saunders, of Melksham Close, Lower Earley, said: “Amelia, our beautiful little girl, left us holding both our hands as she took one last breath. It was peaceful, quiet and without pain or suffering. Chantal and I had told her only minutes before that it was OK for her to go, to be free. Now she is.
“Although there is a huge hole left in our lives, Chan and I will be strong and support each other through this awful time. Charlotte will have all our love as our daughter, and when she is older we can tell her about the amazing big sister she once had.
“Our hearts are shattered into a thousand pieces.
“Thank you, everyone, for your love and support. Our lives will never be the same again.”
Amelia’s aunt Leanne Lawrence told The Wokingham Times: “She was a little angel. She was the most beautiful and lovely girl.
“She was a joy to have in our lives and we are heartbroken it has come to an end. She will be missed by us all.
“It’s made us realise how life is very precious and we don’t take anything for granted any more.
“She was such a caring little girl, which is something we will always remember her for.”
Mrs Lawrence’s daughter Eliza, two, shares the same birthday as Amelia.
“They had a really special bond,” she said.
“She was very brave and fought so hard over the past year.
“As horrific as the outcome is, it was very peaceful.”
Amelia was diagnosed with the brain stem tumour last February, after she became unbalanced while walking. Doctors gave her just four to six months to live.
The Saunders’ launched the Amelia’s Miracle Appeal and raised more than £200,000 in 12 weeks to take Amelia to Texas, where she underwent treatment at the controversial Burzynski Clinic.
Amelia rallied and in September started at Crosfield School, in Shinfield, before saying goodbye to classmates before Christmas.
Headmaster Jonathan Wansey, said: “Amelia has been an inspirational and much loved member of the school. She was a beautiful, kind and affectionate little girl who embraced all aspects of school life. She was gregarious, loving and happy, with many friends. She will be deeply missed and always remembered.
“For the staff and children, the school will be providing appropriate support.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Chantal, Richard, Charlotte and all the family.”
Former X Factor star Danyl Johnson met Amelia as part of the family’s fundraising appeal.
He said: “Words can not describe how lovely Amelia was. Everyone cared for her so much and she will be so missed. Love to all her family.”
A service of celebration to mark Amelia’s life will take place at Winchester Cathedral at 10.30am on Saturday. Anyone attending is asked to wear pink, Amelia’s favourite colour.
The service of celebration will be followed by a private cremation in Reading on Monday.
Mr Saunders said: "This is going to be a very sad and emotional day for us as we have to say goodbye to our baby. Then we have to resume life in a very different way."
To register attendance visit the Amelia’s Miracle Facebook page.
Mr and Mrs Saunders have asked for donations to Naomi House Children’s Hospice in lieu of flowers.