Northern Ireland news

Family devastated by loss of fifth child to rare illness

Lacey Pollack, aged four, who died from a rare illness that has also claimed the lives of four siblings
Seanín Graham

A CO DOWN family who have lost their fifth child to a rare illness say they are "heartbroken beyond words".

Little Lacey Pollack (4) from Dundonald died in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children earlier this week from an undiagnosed condition that has also taken the lives of four siblings.

Her devastated mother Jamie Pollack described her daughter as a "princess".

Lacey's health had deteriorated in recent months and she had been cared for in the Royal's intensive care unit for the past nine weeks.

Writing on social media on Monday, Mrs Pollack said: "This morning we lost our beautiful princess Lacey in our arms and said goodbye. We are totally heartbroken, really have no words, love you my angel, sleep tight princess xx."

She and her husband Mark want to build a memorial garden at their home to pay tribute to their lost children - daughter Jamie-Lee who died aged 13, baby Lexie who passed away when she was just nine weeks old, Ellie who was six and 11-month-old Jordan.

The couple, who have four other boys, has suffered the devastating losses since 2001.

They learned last Thursday they only had a few days left with Lacey.

Despite numerous tests in hospitals in Belfast and Great Ormond children's hospital in London over the past decade, the cause of the condition remains unknown.

It is understood their boys, Kane (10), Zack (8), Ollie (6) and Mark (2) do not suffer from the mystery illness.

The Pollacks have set up an online fundraising page to help build and memorial garden and also to do something special with their remaining children.

Mark Pollack with his daughter Lacey

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