Girl, 4, Dies After Dad Shared Her Photo to Call Attention to Harsh Reality of Childhood Cancer
The 4-year-old subject of a viral photo depicting the tragic reality of childhood cancer has died, just weeks after her image touched hearts around the world.
After a year-long battle against neuroblastoma, Jessica Whelan, 4, of Lancashire, England, passed away Sunday.
“No longer does she suffer, no longer does she feel the pain of the physical constraints of her body,” her father, Andy Whelan, shared on Facebook. “Now my princess has grown her angel wings and has gone up to play with her friends and her loved ones.”
Whelan shared a photo of his daughter in agony earlier this month to shed light on the painful journey his daughter has endured after being diagnosed last year with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare cancer found in the adrenal glands.
“[The photograph] is not one I wish I had to shoot,” her father told InsideEdition.com in a previous interview, “but it’s one [that] shows the proof of childhood cancer. You can’t even imagine what suffering she’s in.”
Despite taking an aggressive course of action, Jessica’s body eventually stopped responding to treatment.
In her final days, Whelan said his daughter had so little muscle and fat her tumors protruded out of her skin
Jessica spent most of her time in bed, hardly accepting any affection from her family members since she was in constant pain. Her stomach had stopped digesting, her father said, and was not able to accept any sort of medications meant to make her more comfortable.
"It's been hell, honestly," Whelan said.
Before she passed, Jessica allowed her father to hold her in his arms one last time.