Published: 13:19, 21 January 2022
| Updated: 13:21, 21 January 2022
Childminders are appealing for help raise funds to support the family of one of their children who fell seriously ill and died while visiting family abroad.
Three-year-old Maia Baboc, from Strood, travelled with parents, Mihaela and Adrian, and five-and-half-month-old sister Jessica, to Romania over Christmas to visit family.
But the tot fell ill, and she was admitted to hospital where she was put on a ventilator.
Her childminders – Shannon Cox, Toni Marston and Alicia Bonner – launched a fundraiser to support the family six days ago, and donations started to flood in.
But early this morning came the devastating news that Maia had lost her battle.
The team are continuing to raise funds, but now it will be to help pay for the toddler's funeral.
Shannon said: "I, along with Toni and Alicia, were Maia's childminders for the past two years.
"Maia became very poorly while away over Christmas in Romania and required surgery and [had] to be put on a ventilator which we later found was due to E.coli poisoning.
"Maia's kidneys then started to fail and [they] started dialysis but her state continued to deteriorate and then her heart started to fail.
"Maia had suffered a brain hemorrhage which left her brain dead.
"No family should go through the pain of losing their beautiful princess. Maia was 43 months old and in her short life was such an amazing, bubbly, little girl who everybody adored and will truly be missed and never forgotten.
"I'm asking you all to help me raise money to give Maia a beautiful send-off which will be in Romania with family.
"Early this morning beautiful Maia grew her wings. Please give this beautiful princess the most perfect send-off.
"Please spare a moment to share Maia's story and raise funds to help the family celebrate Maia's life, and limit the stress on the family in this difficult time.
"I thank you all personally from the bottom of my heart and from Maia's family for any donations made."
Toni said: "We will miss beautiful Maia every day. She was like one of our own.
"To go on holiday and not come back is awful."
So far, more than £1,600 has been raised towards a £7,000 target. If you would like to donate, click here.