Tragedy as mum wakes up next to daughter, 5, and finds her dead

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-Credit: (Image: Family handout)

The inconsolable mother of a five-year-old girl who tragically passed away has described the experience as an 'horrendous' nightmare. Little Lila Marsland was found unresponsive by her mother Rachael Mincherton after the two had shared a bed together.

Despite the swift arrival of an ambulance, it is believed that the 'amazing' girl had already been deceased for several hours. Tragically, Lila was pronounced dead at the scene, just two weeks shy of her sixth birthday on December 28.

Now, the heartbroken family have spoken out for the first time about their profound grief, admitting they are still in the dark about the cause of Lila's death.

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"I woke up and she was dead next to me," Rachael, aged 36, recounted to the ME N. "I rang for an ambulance but she had been dead a few hours They gave her CPR; they arrived within minutes but it was already too late. It's horrendous. I still can't believe it's happened."

Known as 'the nicest child ever', Lila would embrace every teacher before leaving school and was constantly seen playing with her friends.

"She was amazing," said Rachael, who is mourning alongside Lila's father Daz, aged 41, and sister Ava, 14, from Hyde, Manchester. "Because we don't know what she's died of, I don't feel like we can even grieve properly at the moment. We haven't even been given answers on how she's died.

"She was the nicest child ever. She had bright ginger hair. She was kind to everyone; I would take her to school and pick her up and she would be hugging all the teachers. It would take her 30 minutes to leave."

"She loved Halloween, dancing, tap, ballet, cheerleading and going to Rainbows. She played out all the time and had a nice group of friends. She just loved life."

An inquest into Lila's death has been opened, with proceedings scheduled to take place in November. Her funeral took place one month after she passed away, attended by a church full to the brim with those wanting to pay their respects.

"It was a nice send off for her," Rachael commented. "We had a horse and carriage. The church was absolutely packed; all the school attended. It was the perfect day for her."

The family have taken steps to honour Lila's memory through the establishment of a charity called Lila's Light, which focuses on providing bereavement bags specifically designed for children who have lost siblings.

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"When we left the hospital, we left with a box but it was tailored more to adults," explained Rachael. "We want to aim it at children."

They are gearing up for an exciting fundraiser on August 17, aiming to generate support for the bereavement bags initiative. The event will feature a football game which Emmerdale's Danny Miller also known as Aaron Dingle, will participate in at Stockport Sports Village from 10am until noon.

A family fun day is all set at The Queens in Bredbury, complete with an auction, rides, stalls, a bouncy castle and plenty of food; in a heartfelt event dedicated to raising funds for Lila's Light.

Rachael, a nurse, touched on the significance of the event, saying, "It keeps Lila's name alive," and elaborated on its importance. "It's something positive to focus on."

Supporters can follow the cause on social media, where the family has established platforms for Lila's Light, with the Facebook account accessible here and Instagram available here.

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