Sheringham baby’s legacy is to help other sick children

A severely-ill baby, whose survival defied the odds, has died at her north Norfolk home aged 15 months.

Lauren Taylor, from Sheringham, had the rare chromosome disorder Patau's Syndrome and her parents Glen and Emma had been told that the average life expectancy for sufferers was just three-and-a-half days.

But Lauren, who was blind, partially deaf, needed extra oxygen to breathe, was tube fed, had kidney problems, extra fingers and toes, and a hole in the heart, managed to live at home with her family who filled her short life with trips and treats.

She died on Saturday, exactly 15 months since her birth in the same room, after an increasing number of 'apnea' emergencies where she would stop breathing for short periods of time and need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, according to her father. Five days before her death, she suffered nine apnea episodes in 24 hours.

Mr Taylor, a Cromer police officer, said Lauren had been much loved by her parents and older brothers and sister, Harrison, Thomas and Caitlin.

'We are very grateful for the time we had with her. Lauren taught us a lot. She had her own personality and was a character and a fighter,' he said.

Cards and flowers had been arriving at the family's home, including some from people who had become aware of Lauren through a community fund-raising drive in Sheringham to buy comforts for her, said Mr Taylor.

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It was at about the time of that event, in Sheringham's Tyneside Club on September 3, that Lauren had begun to suffer from the apnea attacks. Her parents had already decided that she should only receive basic first aid in such circumstances.

The fund-raising auction and raffle collected nearly �3,000 which was added to �700 already raised by club members, making enough to buy a lights, a bean bag, bubble tube and special pushchair for Lauren.

Her funeral will be held in St Peter's Church, Sheringham, on Monday at noon, followed by a private interment at Sheringham Cemetery.

Mr Taylor said they had asked people to make donations to the East Anglian Children's Hospice (EACH) instead of buying flowers, as the whole family had received a lot of support during Lauren's life from the hospice at Quidenham where they had spent some time.

He added: 'Her casket is only small and we didn't want it swamped by flowers. Quidenham has been good to us and if we can help them, that will be Lauren's legacy.'

For more information contact funeral directors Blyth and Sons Ltd, 4 Cremer Street, Sheringham. Telephone 01263 82315.