As the parents held their daughter in her last moments, they sang to her and put on her favorite movie.
5-year-old Zoey Catherine Daggett was dying of brain cancer when this photo was taken. Her nurse captured the moment that her parents cradled their toddler moments before she passed away.
Zoey had been diagnosed with brain cancer two years prior. Doctors told her parents that she had Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG), which is a rare brain cancer that mostly affects children ages 4 to 10.
“It was probably a month ago we kind of figured out that the radiation wasn’t working anymore,” her father said.
Ben and Casey Daggett, her parents, said that though they had prepared themselves for this, it was never enough.
The parents mentioned that before their daughter was sick, she was a ball of fun who ‘never stopped moving’. The tot had just recently graduated from kindergarten at Brooks Hill Elementary School in the Fairport Central School District.
When her condition worsened, her parents opened up their house for community members, family, and friends. There were 50 people who visited Zoey in her last days.
The little girl even had a bucket list which included being a cheerleader, meeting all the Disney princesses and riding the Batmobile. Her parents also brought her to different places around the world including Amsterdam, Germany, and Paris.
“We traveled the world for Zo,” Casey said. “We made sure that she saw everything that she wanted to see, because she wasn’t going to be able to when she got older.”
After going through radiation therapy and countless treatments, Zoey’s health began declining rapidly in June. On her last day, her parents put on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, her favorite movie and she died before the movie ended.
She passed away on the Fourth of July at around 4:15 PM in her dad’s arms.
Zoey’s family requested that attendees wear bright colors during her funeral last Monday as the toddler didn’t like wearing black. In lieu of flowers, her parents also said that they wanted guests to make someone smile.