The daddy of Milli Lucas, the courageous Perth woman whose unwavering smile all through her most cancers battle captured hearts throughout Australia, says his daughter’s loss of life has left him “damaged”.
“Love you child, so damaged,” Grant Lucas wrote on social media early this morning.
“I’ll always remember the bond we had coming into this world and the even stronger bond we had whenever you left our world.
“You had been an distinctive daughter who I liked with my the whole lot.”
Milli, whose well being battle sparked a large outpouring of public generosity, died on Monday.
Milli had a uncommon genetic situation that predisposes carriers to a lifetime threat of all kinds of cancers. Li-Fraumeni syndrome has preyed on many of the Lucas Smirk household, killing Milli’s grandmother, cousin and uncle. Her mom, sister and one other cousin have additionally battled tumours.
The 14-year-old defied her terminal analysis by years after famously reaching out to famend neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo in Sydney in 2019.
Dr Teo, who helped Milli reside years longer than anticipated by conducting quite a few delicate, high-stakes mind surgical procedures, this morning described the second he came upon about Milli’s passing.
“I used to be fairly devastated, I type of stopped in my tracks once I heard the information, I simply couldn’t proceed with what I used to be doing on the time, it actually had a deep influence on me,” he mentioned on 6PR.
Dr Teo mentioned each time his sufferers died it “at all times takes one thing out of you”, however admitted it was totally different this time.
“With Milli, it was one thing else. I’m not fairly certain (what it was about her),” he mentioned.
“She was at all times smiling. I actually don’t assume I ever noticed her not smiling. It was that positivity about her, her engagement with folks round her. She by no means complained,” he mentioned of the woman that captured his coronary heart.
The a number of dangerous surgical procedures he carried out in 2019 had been undertaken in a bid to present Milli the time she wanted to battle her most cancers with various therapies.
“Each case I do, I at all times try to assume … positively … possibly it might remedy her or purchase her a few years of life,” Dr Teo mentioned.
“However realistically … it’s all about shopping for time. Deep down inside I at all times assume that each case I do there’s an opportunity you may remedy them.”
Dr Teo mentioned Milli’s tumour and her case was one of the vital troublesome he’d ever dealt with.
“I don’t blame the neurosurgeons who mentioned it was inoperable one iota,” he mentioned.
“It was a horrible tumour that prolonged into the mind stem, an extremely delicate eloquent a part of the mind.
“It was a really troublesome case, the strain was on. Lots of people had been watching to see if I might do it or not, so it was a troublesome case however I feel we achieved what we needed to attain and that’s the prolongation of life with upkeep of high quality of life.”
The very best-case situation for that surgical procedure was that the then 12-year-old wakened from surgical procedure with everlasting weak point on the proper facet of her physique. However Milli might have additionally been left paralysed or in a coma.
However Milli recovered nearly fully post-surgery — her miraculous come-back and unfaltering smile attracting consideration from throughout the nation and a number of other celebrities together with Dockers star Nat Fyfe who despatched a video message of assist to her.
Following the fragile operation, which eliminated 98 per cent of her mind tumour, the Perth schoolgirl flew to Germany for a month of other remedy. Her mom revealed Milli would obtain low doses of chemotherapy mixed with hyperthermia day-after-day for 4 weeks earlier than returning to Perth for a mind scan.
The household returned in July, 2019, and Milli finally felt effectively sufficient to make a shocking return to highschool along with her sister.
However in March final yr the household was hit with the devastating information that Milli’s turmour had returned and extra surgical procedure was on the playing cards.
Then, in October final yr, she returned to Prince of Wales Personal Hospital in Sydney along with her dad Grant for additional remedy with Dr Teo.
After the operation, Milli was stretchered residence to Perth on a mercy flight with the Royal Flying Physician Service (RFDS) after an nameless donor paid for the non-public 10-hour spherical flight.
She spent her final months at her household’s Secret Harbour residence celebrating her birthday and fulfilling her life-long dream of going skydiving.
In a Fb put up final night time, Milli’s mum Monica Smirk wrote: “Our hearts are damaged. Our angel is now flying excessive and the world won’t ever be the identical”.
Inside an hour, there have been greater than 700 condolences and tributes to the inspirational teen posted beneath.
Mrs Smirk described her daughter as “the total bundle — sensible, humorous, athletic, stunning and will sing like an Angel. “
“That’s why they took you early. You had all classes accomplished,” she wrote. “Your legacy will reside without end, we’ll make sure that of that. Our love for you is rarely ending, our lives won’t ever be the identical.
“Without end missed, however (we) know you may be round us on a regular basis You actually had been an Angel who now has her wings again.
“Love you child woman, without end 14.”
WA Premier Mark McGowan final night time described Milli’s passing as “terribly unhappy’.
“Milli gained the hearts of each Western Australian,” he mentioned. “Her courageous battle with most cancers and her massive, joyful smile will at all times be remembered.
“Milli was an exquisite woman,” he added. “Her loss is tragic for her household who liked her very a lot. It’s terribly unhappy.”
The Fremantle Soccer Membership additionally paid tribute to Milli, who was taken below the wing of celebrity Nat Fyfe to share some unforgettable reminiscences on the membership.
It included a 2019 match the place Milli tossed the coin with Fyfe and shared a cuddle with the Brownlow medallist.