Wrexham 10-year-old Eva Williams dies one year after brain tumour diagnosis

10-year-old Eva Williams was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour on New Year's Day last year. Credit: Brain Tumour Research

A 10-year-old girl from Wrexham has died a year after being diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour.

Eva Williams was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) - a rare disease that makes up around 10 to 15 per cent of all brain tumours in children - on New Year's Day last year.

Fewer than 10 per cent of children survive longer than two years after their diagnosis, according to The DIPG Resource Network.

Despite being inoperable, Eva and her family had raised almost £326,000 to access treatment in the United States that might have extended her life.

However, efforts to join those medical trials were thwarted by the coronavirus pandemic.

On Saturday, her father announced that she had passed away surrounded by family.

Eva's father, Paul Slapa, worked with the charity Brain Tumour Research to raise awareness of the disease. Credit: Brain Tumour Research

In a post on the family's fundraising page, Paul Slapa wrote: "Yesterday morning at 9am, after 12 months and eight days of fighting, our beautiful little Eva passed away, surrounded by all of her family."Over the past week, Eva had lost the ability to speak, eat and swallow fluids, and she has suffered more than any child should ever have to suffer. Watching her still fight each day has been heart-breaking."

He added that Eva had been "an inspiration to many". The family had worked with the charity Brain Tumour Research to help raise awareness of the disease.

"Eva is an inspiration to many, certainly to me, and I cannot begin to imagine how we will go forward from here. How do we wake up each day and go on? How do we face the world without our baby girl with us? Why did this happen to the most caring and loving of little girls?"Every single part of us is in pain and I can’t see how that can change. We love you Eva - more than you’ll have ever known - and we will keep you with us every day for the rest of our lives."

Eva had received radiotherapy to try and shrink the tumour. Credit: Brain Tumour Research

Hugh Adams, from Brain Tumour Research, said: "Our heartfelt condolences go to Paul, Carran and Eva’s brothers Ethan and Finn, whose world has been shattered by this devastating disease.

"No family should have to experience the pain they are going through and we are so sorry for their loss.

"It is unbearable to think that, here in the UK, one child every fortnight is diagnosed with DIPG.

"Funding for research into brain tumours needs to be increased to £35 million a year in order to prevent more families from going through this utter nightmare. We owe it to Eva, to her family and to everyone for whom DIPG becomes a devastating reality."