BREAKING NEWS: Coleen Rooney"s 14-year-old sister Rosie dies after lifelong battle with ill health

BREAKING NEWS: Coleen Rooney's 14-year-old sister Rosie dies after lifelong battle with ill healthShe suffered with the brain disorder Rett Syndrome, which affects developmentRosie died at home this morning, it has been confirmed
The family have said they were 'blessed to have her in their lives'

By
Amanda Williams

PUBLISHED:

14:29 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

14:50 GMT, 5 January 2013

Coleen Rooney's 14-year-old sister Rosie, who had fought a lifelong battle with ill health, died at home this morning, her family said.

They added in a statement: 'As a family we are heartbroken but we are blessed to have had her in our lives.'

Rosie McLoughlin suffered from the brain disorder Rett Syndrome – which also affects development.
Rosie was taken in as a foster child by the McLoughlin family aged two and was subsequently adopted by them.

Rosie McLoughlin suffered from the brain disorder Rett Syndrome - which also affects development

Rosie McLoughlin suffered from the brain disorder Rett Syndrome – which also affects development

In the past, Coleen has kept bedside vigils by her sister as she battled with ill health.

The family, devout Roman Catholics, made a pilgrimage to Lourdes to pray for her improved health in 2009.

She could not speak or walk and had to be fed through a tube.

Coleen's parents, bricklayer Tony McLoughlin and his wife Colette, a former nursery nurse adopted Rosie when she was two, knowing she was disabled but not the full extent of her condition.

In a statement issued on behalf of Coleen, her husband, Manchester United star Wayne, and the rest of Rosie's family, said they had been left 'heartbroken' by the teenager's death.

'She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all,' the statement said.

'We shall cherish forever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life.'

In a piece written for the Daily Mail when Rosie was eight, Mrs Rooney, who is married to Manchester United striker Wayne, spoke of her love for her younger sister.

Rosie McLoughlin suffered from the brain disorder Rett Syndrome - which also affects development

Rosie McLoughlin suffered from the brain disorder Rett Syndrome – which also affects development

She said: 'I must have been about 14 when Rosie came to us. She was two years old and Mum and Dad took her in as a foster child at first, before going on to adopt her.

'We knew that she was sick but we didn't know how serious it would turn out to be. It was Mum who noticed that something was really wrong.

'When Rosie arrived she could crawl, and even though she couldn't use her hands that much she would handle toys on her play mat and she could eat.

'But over a period of time she stopped crawling and lost what use of her hands she had. Then she started having problems swallowing her food. She would cough and choke and bring food back up as she was trying to eat.'

She added: 'Rosie has brought so much joy to our family. Of course we wish she could be healthy – but for her sake, not our own, because Mum and Dad and me and my brothers have never felt that her care was a burden.'

THE FAMILY'S TRIBUTE TO 'SPECIAL ANGEL' ROSIE MCLOUGHLIN

'Sadly our special angel Rosie, our much-loved daughter and sister, went to heaven at 2.50am this morning at home, where she was surrounded by her loving family.

'Rosie was just 14 years old, and fought a life-long battle with Rett syndrome.

Throughout her life she brought so much love and happiness to all our family and everyone who knew and met her.

'She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all. We shall cherish forever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life.

'As a family we are heartbroken, but we are blessed to have had her in our lives.

“The family would like to thank everyone involved in Rosie's life for their love and support and for their messages of heartfelt condolence today.

'We would also like to thank the many doctors, consultants, nurses, helpers and friends who all worked so hard and tirelessly to help make Rosie's life better. In particular, we thank everyone at Alder Hey Hospital and Claire House Children's Hospice.

'Finally we would ask that the media now respects the privacy of our whole family and does not intrude in any way at this sad and difficult time as we remember Rosie.

'There will be no further statements from the family at this time.'