Ashley Cain has marked Father’s Day with a heartbreaking tribute to his late daughter Azaylia, writing on Instagram: ‘My heart is broken.’
Ashley shared touching footage of himself and his daughter during one of their ‘hospital sleepovers’, and in a lengthy accompanying caption, explained: ‘Last night, I was scrolling through some photos and videos for hours as I couldn’t sleep with today pending. Even though my heart is broken beyond repair, I feel incredibly blessed to be your daddy.’
Tragic: Ashley Cain, 30, has marked Father’s Day with a heart-breaking tribute to his late daughter Azaylia, writing on Instagram: ‘My heart is broken,’ alongside a video of his daughter
Ashley has been grieving the loss of his daughter with his partner and Azaylia’s mother, Safiyya Vorajee, 34.
Taking to social media, Ashley wrote in full: ‘Fathers Day. Last night, I was scrolling through some photos and videos for hours as I couldn’t sleep with today pending…
‘One of the things that I miss the most about Azaylia, is our sleepovers at the hospital. The feeling when I woke up next to her in the morning, drew the blinds and seen her beautiful face with that incredible smile was magical.
‘The fact I’d been gifted another day with the love of my life, when no day was promised, was euphoric and indescribable.’ [sic]
Heartbreaking: The former Ex On The Beach star lost his eight-month-old child in April following her heartbreaking battle with leukaemia
Hospital: Ashley shared touching footage of himself and his daughter during one of their ‘hospital sleepovers’
He added: ‘First thing, we used to set the tempo for the rest of the day. It was important to start the day off right with positive vibes, good energy and endless amounts of appreciation.
‘Despite what Azaylia was going through, she would ALWAYS greet me with the most overwhelming energy and stunning smile, which gave me all the strength and courage I needed to fuel my mind, heart and spirits through another day battling by her side.
‘Azaylia seemed to be able to lift the spirits of anyone in her presence and especially me because of her sheer strength, great hearted bravery and beautifully bright ora.
‘When I thought I had to be strong for her, it turned out she was the source of my strength. When I thought I needed to be brave for her, she was the reason for my courage. When I thought she needed to see me smiling and positive, she was always my inspiration.
Tribute: Taking to social media, Ashley wrote: ‘Fathers Day. Last night, I was scrolling through some photos and videos for hours as I couldn’t sleep with today pending’
‘& when I thought I needed to give it 100 to fight by her side everyday, she was already giving 120!
‘If I could pick any 8 months of my life to relive, it would begin on the 10.08.20. Azaylia made the hardest and most devastating time any parent could go through, without question, the BEST days of my life! A time where I’d give up the remaining years of mine in a split second, to experience it with her again.’ [sic]
Ashley concluded: ‘Azaylia Diamond Cain – You’re the most amazing daughter any daddy could wish for and I miss you so much. Even though my heart is broken beyond repair, I feel incredibly blessed to be your daddy and HONOURED to be lucky enough to to call you my daughter.
So sad: Hours later, Ashley shared another clip of himself sitting in his car while Michael Bolton’s ballad Go The Distance played on the stereo
‘You changed my life, you saved my life and you MADE my life. I LOVE YOU CHAMP – MY HERO!’
Hours later, Ashley shared another clip of himself sitting in his car while Michael Bolton’s ballad Go The Distance played on the stereo.
As a tear rolled down his cheek, Ashley powerfully declared: ‘Let’s go champ.’
In June, Ashley had to reassure his followers that he was not planning to take his own life after sharing an emotional post about his late daughter.
During the post he told fans he was ‘constantly haunted by her death’ and feels pain and sadness every day, as he admitted he doesn’t think it’ll ever get easier.
He later reassured people he would ‘never give up on his life’, after fans got in touch to share their concern following his heartbreaking post.
He said: ‘Just trying to combat a bit of this pain and sadness.
‘That’s my kind of therapy. Saying this is tough is an understatement. It doesn’t get easier and there’s not a day where you don’t feel sad or on pain.
Candid: In June, he had to reassure his followers that he was not planning to take his own life after sharing an emotional post about his late daughter
‘You have bad days. You have worst days and you just get constantly haunted by what happened.
‘I never think ”I wonder when it’s going to get better?” Cause I don’t feel sad for myself. I feel bad for my baby and what she had to go through. It haunts me. I guess I have to get strong, keep strong, move forward.’
The star then showed himself surrounded by darkness and looking defeated, as he said: ‘Talking about pain there. This is my life now. As a devoted dad you’re the most beautiful baby any father could wish for.’
As he captured Azalyia’s graveside, he added: ‘When everything in my life went bad I used to see her face. It made everything better. Now I can never do that again. I’ve got to live with that for the rest of my life.
Tragic: During the post he told fans he was ‘constantly haunted by her death’ and feels pain and sadness every day, as he admitted he doesn’t think it’ll ever get easier
‘And I’ll come down here every night and I’ll sit with her for hours or talk to her.
‘Do you know what hurts me the most? Obviously I miss her and I love her and that’s something I can deal with.
‘What hurts me the most is that eight months of her life were eight months of pain. Wires in her chest, wires down her nose. A life spent in an f’ing hospital room having chemotherapy operations every single day.’
He continued: ‘Not outside walking, not seeing her family, in a hospital room with procedures and even though I didn’t see it I know she was going through pain and I’ve got to live haunted by the fact that my daughter passed away in my arms, counting her breaths. I feel for that little girl so much.’
Loss: Ashley has been mourning the loss of his daughter with his partner and Azaylia’s mother, Safiyya Vorajee, 34
A timeline of Azaylia’s six-month leukaemia battle
October 2020: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a ‘rare and aggressive’ form of leukaemia, which he described as an ‘uphill battle’.
Heartbreaking: Ashley emotionally revealed his daughter had been diagnosed with a ‘rare and aggressive’ form of leukaemia in October
Azaylia was turned away by doctors three times and prescribed laxatives and a nasal spray when her breathing was impeded, shortly before her diagnosis.
By the end of the month, the brave child faced her second surgery and 16th chemotherapy-related treatment in less than two weeks.
November 2020: Azaylia’s hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed.
Doctors informed Ashley and his family that the tot needed a bone marrow transplant and blood donation.
Due to her Caribbean, Burmese, Indian and English background, the footballer said it was very difficult to find a match for a transplant.
Azaylia was brought home for a few days before her second round of chemotherapy.
December 2020: 80,000 people became stem cell donors 48 hours after Ashley appealed for the public’s help.
So sad: Azaylia’s hair started to fall out just weeks after she was diagnosed in November
January 2021: The TV star confirmed a stem cell donor had been found for his baby daughter Azaylia.
She received her stem cell transplant but her cancer sadly returned following a third round of chemotherapy.
February 2021: Azaylia responded well to her stem cell treatment and doctors were impressed with ‘how strong she was’.
She underwent further surgery to discover whether her leukaemia had gone. Later in the month, doctors revealed her cancer had returned.
March 2021: They were told there were ‘very few options’ to help the baby’s condition before she had another bone marrow test. She relapsed by the end of the month and underwent her fourth round of chemotherapy.
Ashley surpassed his target goal of £1million after he set up a
Heartbreaking: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours all over her body in April
The former Ex On The Beach star took to social media to ask fans for help in donating, explaining the treatment his daughter needed is available in Singapore.
Ashley described the treatment, CAR-T therapy, as ‘the only option to save Azaylia’s life’ and said he and partner Safiyya may have to fly out in a matter of weeks, adding it will take a minimum of one year.
Celebrities such as former TOWIE star Kate Ferdinand, Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague and PrettyLittleThing founder Umar Kamani all donated.
Despite efforts from around the world, pharmaceutical companies could not release the life-saving drugs needed to beat his daughter Azaylia’s battle.
Tender moments: Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home later that month
April 2020: Healthcare professionals revealed Azaylia only had a few days to live as they discovered tumours in her stomach, her spleen, her liver and her kidneys, in addition to tumours in her brain.
Her parents bathed her in the hospital for a final time before they returned home.
They marked her turning eight months old by having moulds made of her feet, and Azaylia was met with support from the London Underground and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
She received life-prolonging transfusion after her condition caused profuse bleeding and public figures joined the nationwide clap held in her honour.
Scary: The influencer’s ‘fragile’ daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death
Azaylia was nominated for a Pride of Britain award and had a plane draw a heart in the sky for her.
The tot was put on oxygen to aid her sleep, and struggled to open her eyes due to swelling.
Scam artists set up fake Facebook pages in her name, with Ashley admitting: ‘We feel really sad it has come to this’.
Azaylia returned to hospital for another platelet transfusion a few days before she died.
The influencer’s ‘fragile’ daughter stopped breathing and suffered seizures before Ashley confirmed her death.