Nuneaton girl dies six weeks after being told cancer would be gone by Christmas

Libby's family said doing nothing was the hardest decision they've ever had to make Credit: Mara Cooper

By ITV News Central Production Journalist Lara Davies

A Nuneaton family have been left devastated after their "special girl" passed away just six weeks after being told she would be clear of cancer by December.

Libby Jones, 11, was told in June that only two tumours remained after 11 months of constant treatment.

However on 11 August, Libby felt poorly and the following day had a scan revealing she had aggressive tumours at the back of her head, and in and around her brain.

Her mother Mara Cooper said: "They told me then she'd have weeks, days or months. We were told to bring Christmas forward, which was really tough."

"But all through that Libby was like 'we’ll beat this'. That’s when we had a meeting with Libby's consultant and that’s when we were told that there is no treatment available now. There were four options but there were dilemmas with them."

Libby's family have set up a fundraiser to give her the "send off she deserves" Credit: Danny Goodaker

Danny Goodaker, Libby's uncle, added: “As a family, it was the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make - that we would do nothing and we would take her home."

Libby made a list of things she wanted to do which included having her nails done, visiting the seaside and Twycross Zoo, although most of her time after leaving the hospital was spent at home with loved ones.

Mr Goodaker continued: "On Monday night that's when things started to go really bad. Palliative Care then told us that Libby wouldn't make the morning, but in true stubborn, brave Libby fashion, she did make the Tuesday morning."

"We brought Libby home on 11 August and sadly lost her on 24 August."

Megan, Libby and Mara Cooper Credit: Mara Cooper

The family have now set up a fundraising page to give their "special girl the send off she deserves".

Libby was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in July 2021, after a full body scan revealed she had cancer in her knee, hips, spine, jaw, skull and stomach.

The coming 11 months were devastating for the family.

They involved multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a stem cell transplant and Libby losing her hair, which Mara said "really upset Libby".

Libby was "very active" and loved cheerleading Credit: Mara Cooper

Mr Goodaker continued: "What the girl went though, she was tough, really tough. Everything that she’s done, she’s absolutely smashed it. The high dose chemo was meant to be six weeks and she was in for three."

Mara added: "She was adamant that she wasn’t going to have a feeding tube because most children go off their food. She told her consultant she wasn’t going to have one, she had one for two days and that was it.”

"She had her days where she was angry because she was confused and didn’t know what was going on half the time.”

Libby managed to go back to her school, Milby Primary School, for a couple of days in June.

In July, the celebrations continued as the family celebrated Libby's sister's 16th birthday where she was up "dancing, running around - literally having a great time".

"Then she went off her food quite a bit and was getting more headaches, but she was having radiotherapy as well so the headaches we thought were down to that."

Libby's family were told to "bring Christmas forward" Credit: Mara Cooper

Mara said: "She was just amazing. An amazing special little girl. The whole time she kept her mind, her personality and her sense of humour."

"She’s just amazing and we're all so proud of what she did. She’s one strong little girl. I don’t think I could’ve done what she did, I’m so proud of her, so proud."

Click here to find out more about Libby and the fundraiser.