A FAMILY have paid tribute to their “beautiful little miracle” who was the inspiration for a £36,000 fundraising campaign.
Victoria Dyer suffered complications at birth but defied doctors’ predictions that she wouldn’t survive, going on to celebrate her 13th birthday in January.
In recent years her health had deteriorated, and sadly on April 29, she died in her mother Theresa’s arms, surrounded by her family, at Oxford’s Helen and Douglas House.
Victoria, who had cerebral palsy, inspired her family, including dad Danny, 50, and brothers Daniel, 23, Ben, 22, and Luke, 17, and friends to raise cash for organisations across Oxfordshire including SSNAP, Rosy, Helen House Hospice and Bardwell School.
In the days following her death the family received more than 200 cards, flowers and messages.
Mrs Dyer, 50, said: “I was cuddling her and she just quietly slipped away.
“It was very much a shock, I knew she was on her way, but didn’t think it would be so quick. I think she chose the time and place.”
In 2001 doctors at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital told the Dyer family Victoria would not survive and they made the agonising decision to turn off her life support machine.
But little Victoria proved everyone wrong.
Two years ago the family faced losing Victoria again, but she battled back.
Since then the Dyer family have cared for her around the clock at home with support from Rosy and Helen House nurses.
Mrs Dyer, of Somerville Drive, Bicester, said: “I think we gave her as much as we could. It was all about quality of life.
“To have those 13 years it was a miracle.
“She was a very beautiful girl, always smiling and never really complained. She always had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes.”
They have pledged to carry on fundraising to help the organisations that support many other families across the county. Mrs Dyer said: “We value, and know how important they are. We could not have done what we did without that back-up and that support.”
A “much-loved” pupil at Bardwell School since she was two-and-a-half, Victoria was described by her friends as “nice, funny, smiley and someone who loved gossip and smiled a lot.”
Headteacher John Riches said: “Our whole school is saddened by the loss of Victoria, but we have many happy memories of her time in school and she will be remembered fondly.’’
Her funeral takes place tomorrow at St Edburg’s Church, Bicester, at 1pm.
Our top stories:
- Managing director Greig Box Turnbull to leave Oxford United at end of season
- Companies still signing up for jobs fair at Oxford Town Hall
- Hundreds will gather as soldier killed in Iraq is repatriated
- Staff and students celebrate actress's big win at the Golden Globes
- Inquests opened into death of couple who died in cottage fire on Blenheim Palace estate
- Inquest opened into death of pensioner found in River Ock in Abingdon
- Man wearing beanie hat exposes himself to woman on city street
- Chain running Randolph Hotel in Oxford in 'best shape ever' after announcing £55m profit
- Cyclist and car involved in collision outside Seacourt Tower
- Oxford United vow to act quickly to resolve flag-waving dispute
- UPDATE: Three more men arrested in connection with attempted murder after altercation in Banbury
- Oxford United v Swindon Town - UPDATES
- CLARIFICATION: Hygiene report of Delight 2 in Didcot
- Man 'obsessed' with BBC journalist goes on trial after allegedly breaching restraining order against her