A Sunderland family has paid an emotional tribute to a courageous little girl who made it her mission to raise thousands for charity while battling health problems that sadly claimed her life.
Described as ‘inspirational’ by those who knew her, two-year-old Jasmine Purvis was given just months to live after being born with Down’s syndrome and a heart defect known as a pulmonary hypertension.
But the condition - which meant the right side of the organ had stopped working, affecting her lungs and kidneys - never stopped the youngster from smiling.
Over the last few months, Jasmine’s family set about making her last wishes come true before she tragically died with her parents by her side on Thursday morning.
Just last month Jasmine’s final wish came true when Sunderland AFC invited her and her family to come to meet the players at the club’s Academy of Light training base.
Now grandad Colin Hope, 36, has paid tribute to Jasmine, calling her a ‘beautiful little girl’.
“We knew for months that this would happen, but we still had hope every day,” said Colin, a support worker from Canon Cockin Street in Sunderland.
“She put up a courageous fight, but her body gave up in the end.
“She took a turn for the worst on Saturday and on Thursday morning she passed away with her mum and dad by her side. She did it her way.
“She was a beautiful little girl. Every day she smiled, no mater how bad she was- even all the way through her heart surgery.
“She brought the community together and touched so many hearts. “She is going to be missed by all the family.”
The youngster, also from Canon Cockin Street, put up a brave fight, undergoing major heart surgery at just five months old.
But she sadly took a turn for the worst a year later, in November 2015, when she became poorly again. She was transported to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she was diagnosed with the condition.
Then, just five months ago, her mum Jamie Harvey and dad Chris Purvis - who are also parents to Jessie Robins, five, and Jodie Robins, eight - were given the devastating news that doctors at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital couldn’t do anything more for little Jasmine.
During her last few months, she made it her last wish to raise funds for the Children’s Heart Unit (CHUF) at the Freeman Hospital under the name ‘Jasmine’s Hearts,’ as they have cared for her in the past.
To date she has managed to raise around £6,000 and Mr Hope said her fundraising will continue.
“Jasmine brightened everyone’s day,” Mr Hope added.
“No matter what she was going through she never cried, she always had smiles and laughs.
“She was an inspiration in the way she fought her illness every day.
“Her mum and dad are devastated, but she will always be in our hearts and we are so proud of her.
“Her memories will live on forever.
“Her parents just want to thank everyone who has helped Jasmine. “They will be forever in out hearts.”
As part of her last wishes, members of the local community raised funds to send Jasmine away to Haggerston Castle, in Northumberland, with her family.
Sunderland AFC expressed sadness after news of Jasmine’s passing.
The club said: “Sunderland AFC was deeply saddened yesterday (Thurs) to hear of the passing of Jasmine. “During what was a really special trip to the Academy of Light last month, Jasmine lit up the academy with her smile and her bright personality was there for everyone to see.
“The club were honoured to be able to provide her with a little bit of happiness and the thoughts of everybody at Sunderland AFC are with Jasmine’s family at this extremely difficult time.”
To donate to the CHUF visit: https://www.justgiving.com/chuf/donate