Video: 'Farewell, our little princess' ... funeral of Ellie Mowforth, girl who inspired a community
A BRAVE “little princess” who died from a rare brain tumour was given a fairytale-themed send-off.
Ellie Mowforth, six, died at her family’s Cottingham home just over a week ago.
Her parents, John and Lisa, wanting a funeral befitting their little girl, had her arrive at the village’s St Mary’s Church in a horse-drawn carriage yesterday.
Father Paul Smith, who lit candles around a large, framed photograph of Ellie eating a giant lolly, said: “Ellie was everything a parent could have wished for.
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“She smiled her way through that awful time and made a lot of other people smile too.”
Her plight triggered a huge fundraising effort, which paid for family days out, enabling John and Lisa to make some special final memories.
Such was the rarity of the type of tumour that it is thought fewer than a dozen children in the country were undergoing treatment at the same time as Ellie.
Inside the 14th century church in Hallgate, pink and white balloons were tied to each pew, while the order of service was printed on pink paper – Ellie’s favourite colour. Her small white coffin was carried inside, with Robbie Williams’ Angels playing softly in the background.
Father Paul told 450 family and friends: “She never once asked why she was poorly or why she was not getting any better, even after endless amounts of treatment.
“Ellie showed great kindness and thought for others.
“She liked doing little girl things. She liked pink toys. She liked dancing and singing. She liked showing off and going to parties.
“She enjoyed games with mummy.”
Father Paul said John and Lisa had devoted their lives to caring for their treasured daughter.
“They were determined to give her the best life she could have after being told there was nothing more doctors could do for her,” he said.
In one of the funeral’s most poignant moments, which reduced many to tears, family friend Ian Chapman placed a small present made for him by Ellie – a smiley face – on her coffin.
He then told the congregation: “A few months ago, Ellie painted, and gave to me, this smiley face.
“And my goodness me, she could make people smile. You know what I am talking about. Everybody was warmed by Ellie’s smile.”
Ellie’s coffin was carried out of the church to the song Firework by Kate Perry.
Before Christmas, Ellie featured in the Mail when she joined 80 other poorly children on a trip to Lapland, organised by the charity When You Wish Upon A Star.
John and Lisa requested donations taken after the funeral be divided equally between the charity and another good cause, Lily’s Fund. Lily’s Fund, which makes donations to sick children, was launched by Jason and Gail Pickersgill, of Thorngumbald, following the death of their seven-year-old daughter, also from a rare brain tumour, in 2005.
John and Lisa, who buried their daughter during a private ceremony at Cottingham Cemetery, are being supported by the Pickersgill family.