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'Special in every way'- tribute to girl, five, who died from rare heart condition

PUBLISHED: 14:21 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:01 04 December 2019

Five-year-old Priya suffered with a rare heart condition which meant her body was not pumping blood around her body properly. Picture: Vicky Conlin

Five-year-old Priya suffered with a rare heart condition which meant her body was not pumping blood around her body properly. Picture: Vicky Conlin

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The father of a five-year-old girl who was "special in every way" has paid tribute to her after she died from a rare heart condition.

Priya with her younger brother Kingsly. Vicky Conlin.Priya with her younger brother Kingsly. Vicky Conlin.

Priya Louise Conlin was born with an interrupted aortic arch, which meant her body was not pumping blood properly and she was not receiving enough oxygen.

Just four days after her birth she had to undergo open heart surgery to redirect blood to her lungs.

Priya was taken to Leeds General Infirmary on Wednesday, November 13 for the last of her procedures but died on Saturday, November 16.

Her family, who are from Downham Market, say they are struggling to come to terms with the news.

Priya with her brothers. Picture: Vicky ConlinPriya with her brothers. Picture: Vicky Conlin

Dad Alan Conlin said: "She was a cheeky little monkey and was so spoilt by everyone.

"She never once complained about her illness, she wouldn't complain about any of her scars or about being breathless.

"She was proud of her scars to be honest.

"If she got a bruise or a cut she would let us know about it but when it came to her illness never once.

Vicky Conlin with her daughter Priya. Picture: Vicky ConlinVicky Conlin with her daughter Priya. Picture: Vicky Conlin

"We have six boys and a little girl, she was a little mother hen to our youngest.

"As a parent I'm just proud, we always wanted a little girl and we got her. She was amazing in every way. She was so strong and I wouldn't have changed her for anything."

A Facebook page called Priya Louise CHD warrior was dedicated to documenting Priya's journey and to raise awareness of the condition.

Her mum, Vicky Conlin, and brothers Shane, Steven, Lucas, Tian, Clay and Kingsly, are united in their grief.

Mr Conlin said: "It's destroyed us, it's affected the boys somewhat. The boys were close to Priya and it has affected the youngest one really bad.

"The other children are keeping their minds busy, it's hard to explain. She was always playing road blocks with her little brother, building towers all the time and playing dolls.

"She was our little girl, she was special in every way. It's hard, she meant everything to her brothers and friends and everyone who met her. She was a big part of everyone's life."

Her funeral will be held on Friday, December 6 in Barton-Upon-Humber, where the now family lives.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for funeral costs and the remainder will be donated to the Children's Heart Surgery Fund.

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