Ashley Cain’s daughter Azaylia passed away aged eight months on Saturday after battling acute myeloid leukaemia for the majority of her life.
The reality TV star, 30, confirmed the tragic news on social media on Sunday, writing: ‘Rest In Paradise Princess. I will always hold you in my heart until I can hold you again in heaven ❤️ #AzayliaDiamondCain.’
Former footballer Ashley and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, had been updating fans on their baby girl’s health condition since she was diagnosed with the rare form of blood cancer at just two months old.
The couple recently raised more than £1.5 million to fund a trip to Singapore for life-saving transplant, but their little one became too unwell and doctors discovered tumours throughout her body.
Azaylia – who inspired her father’s powerful ‘let’s go champ’ message – underwent four rounds of chemotherapy in her fight and was recently nominated for a Pride Of Britain Award by thousands of supporters around the world.
‘Rest in paradise, Princess’: Ashley Cain’s daughter Azaylia has passed away at eight months old following a heartbreaking battle with leukaemia
The ex Coventry City winger and the aesthetic practitioner uploaded similar images of themselves cradling their little one before she passed.
Azaylia’s mother Safiyya shared two photos cuddling her beloved daughter, with the caption: ‘You are my Angel my heartbeat my soul, RIP my precious baby, you will always be with me like a handprint on my heart.’
Celebrities including Kate Ferdinand, Jacqueline Jossa and Malin Andersson sent their condolences to the grieving influencer and his family.
The brave child had suffered seizures throughout the week, with her parents being told to ‘make the most of this weekend’.
Safiyya had said she felt ‘blessed’ to have another day with Azaylia, telling her followers: ‘Azaylia had another turn. But she’s now rested and asleep and literally it makes your heart race with anxiety.’
Laying next to her poorly daughter, the doting mother continued: ‘But she gets through another day, blessed, my princess. And I feel so blessed. I am lucky to spend another day with you Azaylia. Every day is precious with you.’
Tragic: Former footballer Ashley, 30, and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, had been updating fans on their baby girl’s health condition (pictured earlier this year)
‘You are my angel, my heartbeat, my soul’: Azaylia mother Safiyya also shared two photos cuddling her beloved daughter
Heartbreaking: The brave child had suffered seizures throughout the week, with her parents being told to ‘make the most of this weekend’ (pictured earlier this week)
‘Sending you so much love’: Celebrities including Kate Ferdinand, Jacqueline Jossa and Malin Andersson sent their condolences to the grieving influencer and his family
The Ex On The Beach star told his fans the tot ‘stopped breathing’, became ‘stiff as a board’ and needed oxygen while they headed out for a walk on Friday.
In a lengthy caption, the social media star revealed his daughter needed the help of his palliative care nurses and oxygen after having a seizure.
He wrote: ‘We had our own little adventure today, even if it was just walking up and down the street. It was special!
‘I thought we’d make the most of the sun today and have a little walk, as nurses came and told us this morning, to make the most of this weekend as Azaylia is becoming very fragile.
Worrying: The Ex On The Beach star told his fans the tot ‘stopped breathing’ during a brief walk outside in an Instagram post on Friday
Candid: In a lengthy post, Ashley told fans he and Azaylia headed out for a short walk together when they suffered a scare
Family: He shared a gallery of images of his little girl nestled in her pram while they enjoyed the short outing
Worrying: Ashley continued: ‘After a few hours of close observation we managed to settle her. This has happened a few times now, but it never gets any easier’
‘Shortly after these photos were taken Azaylia had a seizure. Her eyes rolled back, she stopped breathing and her body went as stiff as a board. We put her on oxygen straight away and called for the oncall nurses.
‘After a few hours of close observation we managed to settle her. This has happened a few times now, but it never gets any easier.
‘Yet she continues to battle through! Your determination inspires me. You impress me each and every day. I’m so proud of you. I can’t imagine my life without you. I have faith in you. My Champion. My Hero. I love you.’
Touching: He added: ‘Your determination inspires me. You impress me each and every day. I’m so proud of you. I can’t imagine my life without you. I have faith in you’
Getting better: Ashley went onto tell fans that his daughter was later ‘settled’ by nurses, before reiterating he’d been told to ‘make the most of this weekend’
Fighter: Later Ashley also shared a video of his daughter settled next to him in the living room, writing: ‘Her strength to keep bouncing back is incredible!’
Later Ashley also shared a video of his daughter settled next to him in the living room, writing: ‘Another scary moment with the oncall nurses out. Now she’s settled and sleeping again. Her strength to keep bouncing back is incredible!’
Earlier in the day Ashley told fans that Azaylia’s palliative care told him to ‘make the most of the weekend’ with the leukaemia-stricken tot.
The star revealed the sombre words, however remained defiant, stating: ‘I ain’t got no plans of this little one going anywhere this weekend.’
Speaking to the camera in a video shared on Friday, Ashley insisted that he did not have to be told to enjoy his time with Azaylia as he enjoys every moment.
Pained: Earlier in the day Ashley told fans that Azaylia’s palliative care told him to ‘make the most of the weekend’ with the leukaemia-stricken tot
Ashley said: ‘The palliative care team told us to make the most of the weekend and you understand what that message means the fact of the matter is we make the most of her everyday, we make the most of everyday…
‘I tell you what, I got no plans for her going anywhere this weekend. I’m an optimist. I’m a believer. I’ve got a positive mind frame and I know her strength. I know mine…
‘I ain’t thinking them things because I don’t have to be told to make a special effort to enjoy her because I enjoy her every day. I ain’t got no plans of this little one going anywhere this weekend, trust me. Let’s go champ, the things you have to do.’
Ashley recalled the terrifying moment his daughter Azaylia stopped breathing and had a seizures amid her leukaemia battle.
Heartache: He took to Instagram to reveal the sombre words, however remained defiant, stating: ‘I ain’t got no plans of this little one going anywhere this weekend’
Fighting on: Ashley recently shared his ‘crazy belief’ that Azaylia will still be with him weeks from now
The brave father revealed her temperature spiked shortly after a hospital trip, before happening again when they reached home – causing a nursing team to monitor her until 1am.
Ashley admitted ‘there’s a lot you don’t see’ as he detailed the recent ordeal in an Instagram clip on Thursday during a 5k run after feeling ‘pain, stress and depression.
The former footballer explained: ‘Yesterday we got into hospital, got our platelets done and managed to sort her NG tube out, thankfully.
‘There’s a lot you don’t see’: The brave father revealed her temperature spiked shortly after a hospital trip, before happening again when they reached home – causing a nursing team to monitor her until 1am
‘Then just as we were getting back into the car she had a spike in temperature and a seizure, her eyes were rolling, she was hot, she wasn’t breathing.
‘We had to get her on the oxygen straight away – she settled then when we got home it happened again and we ended up having a nurse from the palliative care team at our house until 1am.’
On how Azaylia’s condition is affecting his mental health, the media personality went on: ‘It’s difficult, man – there’s a lot you don’t see, there’s a lot you wouldn’t want to see.
‘It’s difficult, man’: The brave father revealed the eight-month-old’s temperature spiked shortly after a hospital trip, before happening again when they reached home
Heartbreaking: Ex On The Beach star Ashley detailed the recent ordeal in an Instagram clip during a 5k run after feeling ‘pain, stress and depression
‘It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no breaks, but it’s all worth it because guess what? She woke up again this morning. All the hard work we’re putting in now, it’s worth it in the end to get that little smile, her eyes opening – it’s amazing.
‘It’s been months, but the last few days especially I’ve woken up feeling pain, stress, depression, that’s been consuming my mind as well as my body – stopping me from doing the things that were second nature to me, and I don’t like it.’
The TV star added that his little one’s resilience is keeping him going as he added: ‘I’m going to get up, get out, and get at it – getting out today in the hope that when I walk back in my house, I’m going to be the best me that I can be for my daughter.
‘I can give her the energy, commitment, and positivity, and I can help carry this ship to where it’s gonna be. Let’s go champ, we’re still in the game.’
On Wednesday, Ashley revealed Azaylia had returned to hospital again after being unable to feed through her tube.
The sportsman uploaded a clip of himself explaining that she needs a platelet transfusion, admitting: ‘There is no easy day on this journey’.
Later into the day, Safiyya said the couple were feeling ‘happier’ after the tot received the procedure.
‘There is no easy day on this journey’: On Wednesday, the sportsman revealed Azaylia had returned to hospital again after being unable to feed through her tube
He said: ‘So we’ve had to come back to hospital. What we’re testing is Azaylia’s tube, her NG tube. It’s not coming back with the correct PH.
‘That means that we can’t feed her down the tube, we can’t put medication down the tube. So that means that we’ve got a problem.
‘Also, they can’t just fit another tube because of her platelet level being so low and her tumours, they don’t want her to catch anything on the way down and cause her to bleed out.
‘So we’re about to come into hospital for an X-Ray now to check if the tube’s in the right place and if it’s not a clear passage for the new tube because it’s urgent that she gets her food and medication. There is no easy day on this journey, trust me.’
Safiyya added in a separate video: ‘Feeling happy now, Azaylia has had a platelet transfusion so all good.’ (sic)
Emotional: The sportsman uploaded a clip of himself explaining that she needs a platelet transfusion
Success: Later into the day, his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, said the couple were feeling ‘happier’ after the tot received the procedure
Ashley recently gushed he is ‘so grateful for another day’ with his leukaemia-stricken daughter as he continues to chronicle her fight on social media.
The doting dad shared a touching video showing Azaylia asleep on his bed, before her mum posted a series of clips, including a shot where she had fallen asleep with a green bean in hand.
After detailing her baby’s struggles with eating, it seemed Safiyya was happy to see her with the food in hand in the latest of their regular updates.
His love: Ashley recently gushed he is ‘so grateful for another day’ with his leukaemia-stricken daughter as he continues to chronicle her fight on social media
The videos came hours after Azaylia returned to hospital for another platelet transfusion, which Ashley explained were to help stop his little girl from ‘bleeding out’ by aiding blood clotting in her body.
While on the way to hospital, Ashley shared a clip of Azaylia in her car seat and explained while she is no longer under hospital care they will still offer transfusions.
He wrote: ‘On the way to hospital to get Azaylia’s platlet transfusion. The hospital aren’t treating Azaylia anymore, but we’re able to go in to get a platelet transfusion to help her blood clot and prevent internal bleeding.’
Safiyya also shared a similar update on her Instagram Stories before leaving for the hospital visit.
‘Oh she’s so beautiful’: After detailing her baby’s struggles with eating, it seemed Safiyya was happy to see her with the food in hand in the latest of their regular updates
Update: The new videos come hours after Azaylia returned to hospital for another platelet transfusion to help stop his little girl from ‘bleeding out’ by aiding blood clotting in her body
Ashley Cain’s fundraiser for daughter Azaylia’s leukemia treatment – who donated?
PrettyLittleThing founder Umar Kamani – £20,000
InTheStyle’s Adam Frisby – £10,000
Chet Johnson (Faded Clothing) – £10,000
Manchester United’s Luke Shaw – £5,000
Mrs Hinch – £3,000
Kate and Rio Ferdinand – £1,000
Love Island star Molly-Mae Hague – £1,000
Love Island star Maura Higgins –£1,000
Fulham midfielder Harrison Reed – £1,000
Watford forward Andre Gray – £1,000
Nottingham Forest defender Cyrus Christie – £1,000
West Bromwich Albion’s Robert Snodgrass – £1,000
Newcastle midfielder Isaac Hayden – £1,000
Ex On The Beach star Jemma Lucy – £1,000
JLS star Marvin Humes – £500
Hours earlier, Ashley revealed he is ‘constantly’ applying cold compresses to his daughter Azaylia’s eyes to help reduce her pain.
He took to Instagram on Monday to share a video of the tot and detailed his desperation to ensure she can open her eyes and see the world.
Ashley later told his followers he was taking Azaylia back to hospital for another platelet transfusion, which helps her blood to clot and prevents internal bleeding.
He penned: ‘Cold compressing constantly to reduce the discomfort and swelling around her eyes. Every second of the hours on hours of doing this is worth it when she opens her eyes even for a few minutes.’
Talking: Safiyya also shared a similar update on her Instagram Stories as she reveals it will stop her daughter from ‘bleeding out’
Soothing: Ashley revealed he is ‘constantly’ applying cold compresses to his daughter Azaylia’s eyes to help reduce her pain
On Tuesday, Ashley also shared pictures of the moment Azaylia met her cousin Anaya – as the two baby girls sweetly touched hands in the snaps.
Alongside the images, Ashley wrote: ‘One special moment at a time. When Azaylia finally got to see her cousin Anaya without a pane of glass between them, it melted my heart.
‘The two little princesses were born only 6 days apart and when they touched hands for the first time, it sent immense amounts of emotion through my body. It made me so happy with sorrowful tears.
‘We take each day at a time on this journey. So it’s important to enjoy today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised. Another day baby… Another day! LETS GO CHAMP! I ❤️ YOU.’
Special memories: On Tuesday, Ashley also shared a picture of the moment Azaylia met her cousin Anaya
Last week, Ashley explained that Azaylia’s eyes have been fraught with trauma as she was rushed to hospital when she began crying blood and now cold compresses are what is helping soothe the swelling and discomfort.
He penned: ‘We’ve had another very tough day today. To be honest every single day is a very tough day. We don’t take Azaylia out of our sight for a single second at the moment, caring for her every need.
‘Today was the first time for days that she has been able to open her eyes. The swelling and the blood in her tears is causing her pain and forcing them to stick and shut.
‘But with relentless care and improvisation we’ve managed to help her see the world again. Even though she doesn’t have much energy, she loved to see her surroundings today and had the loveliest little playtime.
‘We even got a smile which was worth more than anything money can buy. As a parent it’s the hardest thing in the world to see your child like this, at home, with the painful inevitable fate pending.
‘For some insane reason though I still have some crazy belief she will still be with us next week, the week after that and the week after that. But we aren’t counting the days right now, we’re just doing our best to make the days count.’
Poor baby: Doctors have found tumours in Azaylia’s stomach, her spleen, her liver and her kidneys, in addition to tumours in her brain. And sadly, the chemotherapy isn’t working
Sweet: Ashley shared the touching moment a plane flew over his and partner Safiyya’s house to draw a heart in the sky in honour of their daughter Azaylia
The TV personality recently shared a collection of poignant photographs of the family looking up to the sky to see the plane draw a love heart and the letter ‘A’.
Moved by the incredibly thoughtful gesture, Ashley took to Instagram to express his gratitude.
He wrote: ‘We got surprised today with a plane flying over our house to create a heart in the sky for our brave and beautiful little princess Azaylia, who is still with us, fighting fearlessly everyday.
‘We’re overwhelmed at all of the amazing tributes that are happening around the world.
Great idea: Ashley and his partner Safiyya have set up a pod in their garden so that they can stargaze with Azaylia
Touched: Moved by the gesture, the TV star wrote: ‘We got surprised today with a plane flying over our house to create a heart in the sky for our little princess’
‘From Wembley Stadium to the Niagara Falls lighting up orange as a testament of her bravery, the awareness she has raised for childhood cancer and all the children and families she has helped through her struggles already.
‘Right now I feel broken, scared and worried all of the time. But I am finding strength in trying to be the best father I can be, no matter the situation, for her.
‘That is the least she deserves and the most I can give her, the best me I can be. There is one thing for certain though, I couldn’t be a prouder dad and a more blessed human to have such an incredible daughter.’
Ashley went on to thank all of their supporters and the ‘love and light’ which is providing comfort to their family.
He concluded: ‘For now we have another day to cherish with another special memory – LETS GO CHAMP!’
Heartbreaking: Ashley showed the extensive medication his terminally-ill daughter Azaylia has to have
Earlier on Saturday, Ashley showed the extensive medication his terminally-ill daughter Azaylia has to have as her health declines amid her heartbreaking leukaemia battle.
The television personality took to Instagram at 9am where he showed seven syringes for his daughter, and said it was already her second lot of medication for the day.
Ashley filmed the syringes, designed to provide nutritional support for those unable to eat, lined up on Azaylia’s high chair.
Eight-month-old Azaylia has to have a feeding tube directly into her stomach to provide her with food.
He captioned the shot: ‘Azaylia’s 2nd lot of medication this morning 9am.’
For help and support caring for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, please contact Together for Short Lives on 0808 8088 100 or visit www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk