Heartbreaking photo captures family tragedy as little girl dies in parents' arms

A nurse has captured a dying little girl’s final moments as she lay peacefully in her dad’s lap, comforted by her mum and the family pooch, after a long battle with brain cancer.

Five-year-old Zoey Daggett was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour almost two years ago and had been visiting hospital fortnightly ever since. Last Wednesday she lost her fight with the disease.

The child, remembered as being “full of life” spent her last day being held by her parents Casey and Ben Daggett, listening to stories and music, and watching Harry Potter at their home in Fairport, near New York, in the US.

Five-year-old Zoey spent her final moments held by her parents Casey and Ben Daggett, watching one of her favorite movies. Source: Zoey’s Fight

“Midway through the movie, that was it,” Mr Daggett told CBS8.

Her diagnosis came in July 2016 after the youngster fell at a park and continued to limp for a few days. About a week later she lost mobility in her hand, and doctors found the tumor while investigating.

Zoey had a diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) tumor, a rare brain cancer which mostly impacts children aged four to 10.

Casey Daggett said she could never be prepared for the loss of her daughter, despite having almost two years to prepare. Source: Zoey’s Fight
Zoey was greeted by many princesses. Source: Zoey’s Fight

Her family had been updating friends and the community touched by her story on the Facebook page Zoey’s Fight. It was there the heartbreaking photo was shared along with the caption:

“Zoey is going to be shared with the world. Her love and light have been abundant and we will continue to pay it forward and share love and light with the world.”

Her health began to steadily decline each day over the past few weeks. Despite the warning signs, her mother said knowing the inevitable was coming didn’t make the loss easier.

Casey and Ben Daggett got tattooed the voice pattern of their daughter saying “I love you” and “Not Today”. Source: Zoey’s Fight

“We’ve had two years to prepare for this but it’s never – it’s never enough,” Ms Daggett said.

“She was a ball of fun. She was just this tiny little person that brought light to every single room and every single occasion,” Ms Daggett said.

“I remember, we were at Christmas Eve Mass once, it’s dead silent and she just starts singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star in the middle of a giant, packed church.” 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the family with financial costs.