Ashley Cain has shared the heart-breaking moment he broke down in tears while making a speech at his baby girl Azaylia’s funeral.
The Ex On the Beach star, 30, and his girlfriend Safiyya Vorajee, 34, tragically lost their eight-month-old daughter last month after she suffered acute myeloid leukaemia.
The couple laid their first child to rest last Friday in Nuneaton and the reality star shared a clip on Instagram of himself speaking about Azaylia on Thursday.
Visibly upset, Ashley shed tears as he said his little one had ‘changed’ and ‘saved’ his life.
He said: ‘Wow, I always thought I was a bit of a celebrity, then Azaylia came along, completely blew me out of the water.
‘I think that when you have a child, as a parent, you can be slightly biased, but I think it is safe to say, on behalf of myself, my partner, to my friends and family and the whole world who have followed our story, that my daughter, Azaylia Diamond Cain was special.
‘Beautiful, strong, courageous and so, so inspirational. I don’t think that a single person in this room can say they are too wise, too educated or experienced to have learned something from my likkle lion.
‘From the second she came into my life everything changed. She changed my life, she saved my life and she made my life.’
The television personality said Azaylia had been on a ‘strong and powerful’ journey and added that he only realises now how impactful her life was now he’s had a chance to step back.
He continued: ‘I remember calling up my brother, I called up both of my brothers actually, but I remember I called up Matty and I said “Matty, you are going to be an uncle again” and he said “Do you know what? So are you,” and at that point we were like “what are you having?”, “gotta have a boy” and then we both found out that we were having little girls, we couldn’t be happier.
‘Having a little girl for me was a chance to really, really show the true person that I am. She allowed me to love, she allowed me to kiss and snuggle and dance, she allowed me to do everything I wanted to do.’
Ashley added that he struggled with the news of her illness but made the most the time he had with Azaylia: ‘I don’t understand after hearing that news, after getting the most devastating news, at such a difficult time, we still had the best days of our life.
‘I miss kissing her lips, even though Saf used to say “leave her alone”, I would say “I can’t”. I used to kiss her and kiss her and kiss her.
‘I miss smelling her head, I miss blowing raspberries on her belly, I miss putting her feet on my face and going “pooo, stinky feet!” – she used love that.
‘I miss dancing with her, something we used to do every single day. I think the thing I really miss the most is, when we were in hospital, I used to stay most nights in hospital and I really, really, really miss waking up in the morning, opening the blinds and seeing her massive, massive beautiful smile.
‘Honestly, what baby does this? I used to be tired, probably only having an hour or two hours sleep, I used to wake up in the morning and look over to my right and she would be there awake, not crying, not screaming, just waiting for me to wake up.
‘As soon as I opened those blinds and said “hey baby” her feet were like this and her hands were going, it was the most beautiful thing.
‘I used to get the music on straight away and I think we used to have the time of our lives every morning in that hospital.
Ashley continued: ‘She was amazing and no matter what she went through, she always had a smile on her face, she always did it with grace and beauty.’
He added: ‘I think, as a family, we are all better because of Azaylia. I think during the time, I thought, if we stay strong, happy and positive, then she will be strong, happy and positive.
‘As much as we can take some credit, truthfully it turned out that we gained our strength from her.
‘We smiled because she smiled, we were brave because she was so fearless and we were strong because she was a true beacon of strength.’
‘She inspired us, she inspires you, she inspired everyone that followed her journey. In the end, this likkle lion that we thought we needed to love and be strong for, had enough love and strength embedded in her to fuel the entire world.’
Ending his speech on a moving note, Ashley said: ‘To the top of every mountain, to the bottom of every valley, along every road, across every ocean, north to south, east to west, corner to corner, pillar to post, I will take you there baby – let’s go champ. My champion, my world, my hero – Azaylia Diamond Cain – I love you.’
Ashley added that it was the ‘toughest speech of my life’, admitting he was anxious about whether he would have the strength to stand up and talk about his ‘hero’.
Ashley and Safiyya welcomed Azaylia to the world in August last year but she was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia at eight weeks old.
Treatment was unsuccessful towards the end of her life and the couple hoped to travel to Singapore to get Azaylia special CAR-T therapy but they were unable to travel after her health deteriorated.
More than £1.5million was raised to get Azaylia to Singapore but Ashley has promised to distribute the funds to people going through the same experience.
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