A TEN-YEAR-OLD girl has died after she was robbed of the chance of life-saving cancer treatment abroad because of the pandemic.
Eva Williams, of Wrexham, North Wales, had been all set to fly to New York in April last year for medical trials but travel restrictions were introduced.
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Her family raised more than £300,000 in the hope of getting her private treatment in the United States.
But her devastated dad Paul Slapa, 35, has now revealed his “most caring and loving” daughter tragically passed away on Friday.
Eva had been suffering from a rare high-grade diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma brain tumour.
Dad Paul said: “Over the past week, Eva had lost the ability to speak, eat and swallow fluids, and she has suffered more than any child should ever have to suffer.
“Watching her still fight each day has been heart-breaking.
“Eva is an inspiration to many, certainly to me, and I cannot begin to imagine how we will go forward from here.
“How do we wake up each day and go on? How do we face the world without our baby girl with us? Why did this happen to the most caring and loving of little girls?”
Eva’s heartbreaking cancer fight was previously raised by Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton during Prime Minister’s Questions in July.
Boris Johnson said the government would “look at everything we can do to support her travel arrangements.”
But her dad Paul and mother Carran Williams say her cancer had progressed too far in the summer to be accepted for treatment on the trial.
Speaking previously, Paul said: “Any of the trials we chose are all experimental treatment, so we will never know whether or not they would have been successful or not.
“But the fact is the chance and opportunity to try was taken away by Covid.
“That’s the thing that really makes you feel like you have been wronged.”
Eva was diagnosed after she started to complain of dizziness and blurred vision in December 2019.
She had an optician’s appointment and was referred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
A CT scan then revealed a mass on her brain and her family were dealt the devastating diagnosis.
But after Eva underwent radiotherapy her family have been told there was
no further treatment options on the NHS.
And the key trial, which the family had raised money, suddenly stopped taking on patients due to the spread of coronavirus across the world.
By the time the trial began taking on new patients again in the summer, Eva’s DIPG was too far progressed to be accepted for treatment.
The survival prognosis for this type of brain tumour — the deadliest type of childhood cancer — is eight to 12 months, cancer charity campaigners say.
DIPG tumours are often difficult to remove from patients due to its location close to the brain stem.