A girl With Disability Has Died After Celebrating Christmas When She Received 10,000 Cards From Strangers.
The family of Sophie Jackson with disability asked the public to send in Christmas cards to her hospital bed because they knew she was unlikely to survive until Friday.Now she has passed away after suffering from a debilitating muscle disease which meant she could not walk or swallow food.Sophie, from Knutsford in Cheshire, was a keen footballer despite her disability, playing for Manchester City’s wheelchair football team until she became too unwell.Three weeks ago, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was taken to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where her father Alan kept a constant vigil.
Realising that Sophie was unlikely to recover, her family decided to take her to a hospice, and she died yesterday afternoon.Her relatives held a Christmas ceremony for her the day before her death, with the help of 10,000 cards sent from all around the world by strangers touched by her story.The response to the Facebook appeal was so overwhelming that the family still has five boxes of cards that they have not had time to open.
Speaking about the cards last week, Mr Jackson said: ‘The cards are so that when we are sat here at the side of the bed we can tell her that people are thinking of her and how well she is loved and what impact she has had on everyone she’s met.’He paid tribute to his daughter after her death, saying: ‘What an inspiration she was to everyone she met. She never saw her disability – she was just an inspiration.She had a smile for everybody. She didn’t let her disability hold her back.’She had a go at everything – wheelchair football, carriage driving and she was a season ticket holder at City.Paul Kelly, of City in the Community, said earlier this week: ‘We first met Sophie when she attended a Manchester City women’s game and since then, she has become an integral part of our power chair football sessions.