Published: 00:01, 24 August 2017
A heartbroken mother has told how her teenage daughter's brave six-year battle with cancer came to end after she uttered the words "let me sleep".
Chloey Marshall had fearlessly battled acute lymphoblastic leukaemia since the age of 11, but the disease took over her fragile body and she died, just a week after her 17th birthday.
Her mother Natalie, of Redwood Close, Canterbury, had been told by doctors just weeks before that Chloey did not have long left, but kept the devastating news to herself in the desperate hope her daughter would pull through.
“I was told on July 30 there was no more that could be done for her,” said Miss Marshall.
“They said if they did give her treatment it would make her very poorly and she would pass away in pain. I was the only one who knew.”
Just 18 months ago, Canterbury Academy pupil Chloey had been given the all-clear against the odds, only to relapse in March for a fourth time since being diagnosed in 2011.
Mum-of-three Miss Marshall says Chloey had recently managed to overcome an infection so she clung on to hope, but the cancer was too aggressive.
“She was tiny; her little body couldn’t fight it any more,” she said.
Chloey had been in the sixth form only two days when doctors confirmed in March she had relapsed.
"They said if they did give her treatment it would make her very poorly and she would pass away in pain" - Natalie Marshall
Following spells at the QEQM Hospital, Margate, and St George’s in London, she was transferred to the Royal Marsden in Sutton.
It was there she spent her 17th birthday, a week before she died.
Miss Marshall, who never left her daughter’s side, says the birthday celebrations lasted a week, with visits from her brother Bradley, 20, sister Kelly, 29, and niece Paige.
Chloey received 54 cards and her hospital room was decorated with balloons and banners.
The day before she died, she had a surprise visit from her sister, niece and Canterbury Academy mentor Sally Childs, who took her on a shopping trip.
“She would get very tired but she was Chloey,” said Miss Marshall.
“She loved to wear something nice and do her beautiful make-up.
“She had a lovely day but was awake with tummy pains Friday night. They had gone by Saturday morning, but she was very tired.
“I was talking to her all morning as she slept. Her last words to me were 'mum, let me sleep'.
“At 2.30pm she peacefully passed away in her sleep.”
Miss Marshall says Chloey was her normal bubbly self to the end, going out as much as she could.
She had also started a fundraising page to raise money to go on a dream trip to Magaluf.
The money will now be used to give her a big send off and for a Magaluf-themed party.
“I want to thank people who have donated, for supporting us,” said Miss Marshall.
“I have been inundated with messages. Chloey was really loved.”
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