Mum at side as Sativa's fight ends

By Julia Proverbs

On Tuesday night, Sheree Roose was told her sick daughter Sativa was slipping away.

Ms Roose lay down with the 2-year-old as the cancer that invaded her tiny body was taking its final and ultimate toll.

Sativa, who had been on morphine for the past three weeks, was struggling to breathe.

Ms Roose cuddled Sativa until, exhausted, she fell asleep.

When she woke, her baby had taken her last breath.

Sativa Eagle, 2, passed away at 5.45am yesterday, after a 21-month battle with cancer.

The little girl, who won the hearts of thousands of people around the world, spent her last night sharing a bed at her Tauranga home with her mother and her grandmother.

"Mum woke up abruptly because she stopped breathing," Ms Roose said.

"I just screamed ... I just said 'no, no, no'. It wasn't very nice."

Sativa, twin sister to Indee, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on January 5, 2011, when she was just 4 months old.

In May this year Sativa, having already cheated death several times, received a bone marrow transplant, with the hope it would cure her.

But at the end of August, just days before the twins' second birthday she relapsed.

More bone marrow was injected into her body in a desperate bid to push out her cancerous cells, but on September 11 Ms Roose and her partner Tim Eagle were given the devastating news that their daughter was dying.

They chose to nurse her at home, surrounded by family and friends.

Sativa's brave, and at times miraculous, journey was charted on the Please Help Baby Sativa & Her Family Fight Leukemia Facebook page, which has amassed more than 5700 "likes".

Originally set up by a friend to support the family, Ms Roose has, over the past year, courageously shared her hopes and darkest fears on the page.

Yesterday morning she posted the words that she had hoped she would never have to post: "Sativa Ann Eagle ... you are free my baby. Tiva passed away between me and my mum at 5:45 this morning. always in my heart and never forgotten. your legacy will live on my baby. i miss you so so much."

Ms Roose described Sativa as a "very snuggly and kissy" child.

"I don't know if it's because of what Sativa's been through but she was a real Mummy and Daddy's girl. Quiet, placid and delicate." Sativa's funeral, which will be held at 11am on Saturday, at Greerton Bible Church, will have a purple theme - Sativa's favourite colour.

"It started off because we had twins and we got lots of pink and purple.

"It was easier to have a colour each. Indee has got fair hair so she suited pink and Sativa was brunette so she got purple. It continued throughout their lives and became their favourite colours," Sheree explained.

For her final journey, Sativa has been dressed in her purple fairy dress and matching purple headband, with gold shoes.

While it will be an open service, Ms Roose asks that people be respectful towards the family, and not approach them unless they know them personally.

In Sheree's words

February 13, 2012:

My lil girl surprises me every day. She will be lying there in pain not wanting to move then as soon as Dad and Indee walk through the doors she gets up smiling, kissing, laughing ... happy. Goes to show family is every thing.

March 19, 2012:

Gosh ... this is painful ... docs are giving Tiva 10 more days. Doing a lung biopsy tomorrow then putting her on a course of steroids. But the docs have been honest and said they do not see her coming out of this. But they want us to know they tried everything. Next week they will reassess and if there is no improvement they will take her

off the ventilator and make her as comfortable as possible ...

March 21, 2012:

I cry as I read all your beautiful words of encouragement. People that don't even know us and you take time out of your days to send us nice posts and messages. You don't realise how much all your words do mean to us. Sativa is a brave girl and has been though so much. She is loved by many. I pray that God takes this pain away from my baby, lets her run and play with this tube off her face, whether it be on earth or in heaven. It is agony seeing her

like this and I just want to lie in her place. The doctors have said: ``This is now bigger than us. We are hoping for answers `why' but we don't think we will get them. We just want you and us to know in the end we tried everything we could.'' Still hasn't been for her biopsy yet but we are still waiting. xx

March 27, 2012:

Time to update with our MIRACLE! Our baby is breathing on her own!!! No ventilator!!! ahhhhhh Docs can't even explain it. But we are so so happy and the doctors were just about jumping up and down on the spot. News is

quickly going round the hospital and everyone is so happy. How many times have you defied the odds now Tiva??? Far out. Next few days will be touch and go as anything could tip her but we cannot wait to hear that sweet

voice and that gentle giggle. Just to hug her. WAKE UP BABY! Mummy wants to hold you:)

May 4, 2012:

I am so so excited to tell you all ... Tiva is getting transplant! WAAAAHOOOO! We head up on Tuesday, meeting Wednesday, Hickman line insert and lp on thursday then they get straight into it the following week! AHHH my baby is amazing!

August 2, 2012:

Coming home! Tiva is 99% donor, which is great. Skin is cleared and she's put on another 100grams. They don't want to see her for 4 weeks and then we will talk about Hickman line removal:) Such a proud mum right now:)

August 30, 2012:

Tears are falling down my face, my heart is sore and I am exhausted. My baby has relapsed. There are 40% cancer blasts in her body. Where to from here we don't know and we are scared. Pray please ...

September 11, 2012:

Have just had some devastating news. The docs said we have weeks left with Tiva. Her cancer is back again and stronger than ever. Impossible to maintain. We have taken her home. We are going to be together and manage her pain from here.

September 30, 2012:

Tiva seems to be getting worse everyday, pain relief has to be upped every 24 hours and she is sleeping loads, still waking through the night in pain. no more smiles or giggles when she is up, very weak fragile little girl.

October 1, 2012:

look baby, 4990 people who love you! you're famous! thank you all for your support!

October 3, 2012:

Sativa Ann Eagle ... you are free my baby. Tiva passed away between me and my mum at 5:45 this morning. always in my heart and never forgotten. your legacy will live on my baby. i miss you so so much.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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