Legacy of Sunderland girl who died at just four lives on in heartwarming charity

The legacy of a four-year-old girl lives on as her loved ones look to bring a little bit of happiness to families of seriously ill children.

By Poppy Kennedy
Tuesday, 05 February, 2019, 05:00
Layla Davis always had a smile on her face.

The family of smiling Layla Davis are appealing for present donations and sponsorship as they organise a major fundraiser on what would have been Layla’s seventh birthday.

Little Layla was diagnosed with Shone’s Complex, a rare heart defect, when she was just weeks old and underwent multiple heart surgeries.

Her parents, Amanda and Stephen Davis, were told Layla needed a heart transplant and the youngster was put on the urgent transplant list.

Having found a heart, Layla underwent a crucial operation.

Amanda, of Ryhope, said: “She had the heart transplant and she was doing amazing.

“All of a sudden she went into cardiac arrest and started rejecting the heart, she was put on an Ecmo machine and she died three weeks later.”

Amanda Davies (left) and Emma Thornborough. from Layla's Legacy.

Her parents set up Layla’s Legacy after their daughter’s death in October 2016 to support other families with seriously ill children.

“It’s all I have left of my little girl,” said Amanda, who founded the charity with Layla’s godmother Emma Thornborough.

“When I lost my little girl the only thing I have left is video and photos and obviously her name so we decided to build a legacy.

“I never want her to be forgotten.

“I will always say I have five children and I’ll explain about Layla, I’m still very much her mother as her dad is very much still her dad.

“We’d both do anything we can to bring that little bit of happiness in the darkest of times for families because we’ve walked that path.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“We know what these families are going through.”

Layla’s Legacy provides teddies for newborn babies in Ward 23 and Paediatric Intensive Care Unit within Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, along with a diary to keep pictures, handprints in for the parents.

They also provide two comforters so parent and child can feel close to one another when they’re apart.

They also provide a party pack for any child having to spend their birthday at Freeman’s Hospital.

Layla’s mum, who is also mum toto Makenzie, 15, Mia, 11, and Lucas, three and Jasmine, one, said: ““Layla had a very late diagnosis, she was very sick when they diagnosed her but because of the efforts of the staff at the hospital we got four years and four months with Layla.

““I’m still involved in the hospital. I see them as part of my family, they’ve seen my other children grow up and it’s still a big part of my life.

“Our aim is to try and make someone else’s life just that little but more happy.

“When you’re sat at a child’s bed in intensive care for hours you do get so down.

“We can’t take that away bit we can bring just a little bit of happiness.”

Now the 35-year-old mum is planning a This is the Greatest Show fundraiser at The Alexandra Steakhouse, in Grangetown, which will take place on Friday, June 7, from 7pm to 12am.

Tickets cost £15 and can be bought individually and on tables of three.

Amanda is now appealing for donations and corporate sponsorship as they look to expand the charity, which is currently being run out of Amanda’s living room.

To buy tickets or to donate prizes contact Amanda on laylaslegacy2016@gmail.com