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Shock death of four-month-old Padiham tot Layla-Mai
A FAMILY has been left stunned after the shock death of a four-month-old baby girl.
Little Layla-Mai O’Malley-Shearer was with her devoted mother Georgina O’Malley shortly before 9.40am on Saturday when she started to suffer breathing problems.
The youngster had previously been ‘happy and healthy’, family said.
Paramedics were called to the single mum's home in Russell Terrace, Padiham, before the youngster was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital.
But despite medical assistance Layla-Mai passed away in her sleep on Saturday afternoon.
Friends and family of baby Layla-Mai are now coming together to hold a fundraising event to help her mum, 18-year-old former Thomas Whitham Sixth Form student Georgina and her dad Andrew Shearer, pay for the send off she deserves.
Yesterday, Georgina said the death of her baby girl had left her ‘heartbroken’ but she was too upset to talk.
Speaking on her behalf, best friend Sophie Duckworth, 19, of Lower Manor Lane, Burnley said: “Everyone who knew little Layla-Mai is absolutely devastated. Georgina and Andrew can understandably barely speak.
“Layla was a normal, sweet, beautiful and happy little girl. The whole situation is heartbreaking.
“Georgina was really struggling and she was starting to get really stressed about how she was going to pay for the funeral, so me and a few of our friends decided to hold a fundraising event in Layla-Mai’s memory.
“We hope to raise between £4,000 and £5,000 and cover the funeral completely. Georgina is a lovely person who shouldn’t have to worry about money at a time like this.
“We are having to move quickly with the event as Georgina wants to hold the funeral at some stage next week.
“She has even come up with a beautiful way of saying goodbye. She is going to release balloons at the ceremony, with each one containing a special message from her family and friends.”
The fundraising event will be held at Koko’s in Burnley on Sunday.
The family are appealing for as many people as possible to attend the event and help them reach their target.
Sophie said: “The whole community has been amazing and have really helped us pull this event together.
“People have been donating gifts for the auction and more than 300 people have promised to come along on the night.
“Georgina and Andrew are really touched that people care.
“I urge everyone to think about what they are going through and support the event.”
Staff at the Elizabeth Street venue have already promised to give the venue for free and donate the wages they would normally receive for the night.
Koko owner, Beverley Musso said: “To lose a baby is really heartbreaking, so as soon as we realise we could help we promised to do everything we could.
“Burnley is doing what it does best and protecting its own people.
“Everyone is doing their best to help the family raise all the money they need for the funeral and to give Layla the send off she deserves.
“We have a personal interest in this event as my son is friends with Georgina.
“I must say Burnley is unique in the way the community always rallies round to help when something as sad as this happens.”
Former Hameldon High school pupil Georgina who has moved to Victoria Road, Padiham, will be attending the event.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to the fundraising total or the auction is asked to visit Koko’s from on Sunday.
An inquest into Layla’s death will be opened on Thursday in Burnley by Coroner Richard Taylor.