Girl, 5, died in parents’ arms days after coming home ill from Christmas party

A devastated family have revealed how their young daughter died in their arms after she fell ill following a Christmas party.

Isla Wilkinson – who was described as 'beautiful' and 'loving' – died on December 7 when her heart stopped for 20 minutes.

On December 3, Isla had returned home feeling unwell, but went to bed as usual, ChronicleLive reported .

But the five-year-old woke up the next day she still coughing, being sick and had a high temperature.

Her mum Alex Williams, decided to take her to the hospital  – but Isla’s heart dramatically stopped beating.

Former St John’s volunteer Alex, had to perform CPR until the ambulance arrived at their Sunderland home.


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Isla's heart stopped beating for around 20 minutes before medics were able to get it started again.

However, her brain had been starved of oxygen.

The fit and healthy young girl was sedated so her body wasn’t put under undue stress.   

But a scan revealed the devastating news there was severe brain damage and the family were told Isla had just hours to live at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.  

Alex dressed her daughter in her Christmas pyjamas, painted her nails and plaited her long blonde hair as she counted down the hours left with her beloved daughter  laying in a hospital bed.


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Their heartbreak unimaginable as Alex and dad Robert Wilkinson clung onto their precious princess while saying goodbye to her for the last time.

Alex said: "Isla passed away in the arms of her parents. It was peaceful and she looked as beautiful as she ever did. 

"I went in with my princess and came out with a box and a blanket we've shared for three days. 

"I don't feel alone. I do feel lost. I can't begin to think of a future without my crazy and funny Isla in it."

Isla shared an incredibly strong bond with her heartbroken big brother Aiden, nine, with the pair of them being described as 'inseparable' and also had an older sister, Georgia, 22. 

Aiden is determined to give his best friend the funeral she deserves featuring a horse-drawn carriage and to make everything pink.

A GoFundMe page set up by aunt, Marcia Hogan-Williams, has already raised more than £16,500. 

Marcia, 39, said: "Isla and Aiden were best friends,  they did everything together.

"She'd never go to sleep without her big brother Aiden. He would always get into bed with her until she drifted off. 

"They would go to breakfast club and Isla would always go and sit with Aiden and his friends. They were inseparable. With Alex, they were the Three Amigos. They did everything together."

Marcia, who has travelled from her home in Berkshire, along with brother Jemaine Williams who travelled from Wigan, said: "We are still struggling to come to terms with what has happened. We never ever imagined anything like this.

"Isla was never poorly. She was always at school. She was bursting with personality. She loved dancing and being around people. 

"She had been to see Santa the night before. We're all just absolutely devastated. Alex was already prepared for Christmas and even had a stocking filled with presents for her." 

Doctors are still unsure why a fit and healthy young girl's heart could stop for a whole 20 minutes, leading to severe brain damage. 

To donate can  visit Isla’s GoFundMe page here.

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