THE devastated parents of a six-year-old girl have paid tribute to their brave little “princess” who defied the odds and fought terminal cancer for three years.
Jessica Alice Green lost her battle against a brain tumour on Tuesday, April 1.
The pupil at Mytham Primary School in Little Lever was diagnosed with a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma — an aggressive brain tumour — in March, 2011, aged just three.
Doctors told Jessica’s parents, Carl Green and Lisa McLoughlin, that they would not be able to operate on the tumour and gave the youngster just nine months to live.
But after a course of radiotherapy, Jessica went on to live for another three years and meet her baby sister, Abigail.
Carl Green, aged 36, of York Avenue, Little Lever, said: “When we were told Jess only had nine months to live, we decided we were going to cram as much in as we could.
“We went to both Disney Lands, Lapland and on a cruise. She did more in six years than some people will do in a lifetime.”
Jessica went on to start primary school — something her family thought they would never get to see.
Keen to keep her life as normal as possible, Carl and Lisa only told her teachers to ensure she was treated exactly the same as the other children.
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Mr Green added: “She was at nursery when she was first diagnosed and we thought she would never start school.
“The thing is, she disguised her illness so well. She never looked poorly and a lot of people didn’t know about the cancer. She was cheeky, pretty and princess mad.”
But last November, Carl and Lisa noticed Jessica had developed a squint in one of her eyes.
A scan at the Christie in Manchester confirmed their worse fears — the tumour had come back.
Mr Green said: “Obviously we were gutted when we found out.
“The cancer came back with a vengeance. All we could do was hope she’d make it through Christmas. But like the brave little girl she was, she kept going.”
It was not until March when Jessica became seriously ill. Gradually she lost the ability to walk, eat and talk.
Jessica was taken Derian House Children’s Hospice, where she died surrounded by her parents and grandparents.
Mr Green added: “She was very poorly in March, but she managed to make it to Mother’s Day, which was very special.
“Jess was an extraordinary little girl. She was very brave and fought until her last breath. She was a very loving child and loved life.
“As always, she went on to prove everybody wrong and lived longer. We had a fantastic time in those six years and for that we will always be grateful.”
Jessica’s funeral will be held at 11am on Tuesday at St Matthew’s Church in Little Lever.