The parents of a little girl who died during complications with treatment for a rare childhood cancer have paid tribute to their ‘cheeky little monkey’.

Amelia Davies, who was eight, suffered a fatal cardiac arrest while in hospital following an intensive course of chemotherapy for neuroblastoma.

An inquest was told the youngster had an undetected heart defect and suffered from an arrhythmia, possibly due to the combination of medication required to counter the effects of drugs needed to tackle the deadly disease.

The Northern Echo: Amelia Davies was a 'cheeky and sassy' little girl Amelia Davies was a 'cheeky and sassy' little girl (Image: Contributor)Her death has devastated her parents, Daniel Hill, 30, who works at Cummins, and Rhiannon Davies, 28, an office manager at a care home, who both live in Darlington.

Mr Hill and Ms Davies, who are not a couple, issued a joint statement after the hearing on Thursday paying tribute to their daughter.

They said: “Amelia was our little girl. She was happy, cheeky, sassy and at times naughty.

“She stole the hearts of everyone she met.”

Her parents said Amelia’s favourite film when she was little was Monsters Inc so her dad’s family gave her the nickname Boo, while her mum called her Monkey because ‘she was always hanging off me and was cheeky like a monkey too’.

The Northern Echo: Amelia with mum RhiannonAmelia with mum Rhiannon (Image: Contributor)Her parents said she loved going on holiday, birthdays, Christmas, parties as well as swimming and arts and crafts.

Amelia also loved practical jokes, once putting a wet sponge on her Grandad Gordon’s pillow and would annoy her Nana Kate by impersonating her and putting on silly voices.

The Northern Echo: With her dad Danny With her dad Danny (Image: Contributor)

Her parents said: “On Saturday July 28, 2012, our hearts doubled when Amelia was born, never felt instant love like it.

“On Monday January 25, 2021, when Amelia's heart stopped so did ours.

“These months and years since that day have hurt on a level we didn't know was possible.”

The Polam Hall School pupil first became ill in August 2020 complaining of stomach pains and constipation.

Tests were carried out and a tumour was found on her left kidney but further investigations revealed life-threatening neuroblastoma cells had spread to her bone marrow.

She began a 70-day course of aggressive chemotherapy on November 4, which ran until mid-January 2021.

The Northern Echo: Amelia was treated at hospital in Newcastle Amelia was treated at hospital in Newcastle (Image: Contributor)The plan was for stem cell reinfusion treatment to rescue the bone marrow from the effects of the chemotherapy.

But the two-day inquest at Newcastle Coroners’ Court heard she became unresponsive at the Great North Children’s Hospital on January 25, 2021, and died despite the best efforts of medical staff to save her.

Experts explored the impact of moving a nasogastric feeding tube from her oesophagus to her stomach shortly before her condition deteriorated.

Concerns were raised whether it could have lowered her potassium levels and increased the stress on her heart.

The inquest also heard how she had been given adrenaline in response to a suspected anaphylactic reaction to medication being used in her treatment, which could also have raised Amelia’s heart rate.

The Northern Echo: Amelia smiles from her hospital bed Amelia smiles from her hospital bed (Image: Contributor)Evidence read from Dr Paul Brennan, a consultant in Clinical Genetics at Newcastle Hospital Trust, said Amelia tests showed Amelia had been born with an undiagnosed genetic heart defect.

He said: “It seems that this variant was one of a number of factors that could have contributed to fatal heart rhythm disturbance.

“It may never have caused her any problems unless other factors were present.

“This could not have been predicted before her death.”

The cause of death was recorded as ‘acute heart failure due to fatal arrhythmia during treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma’.

Coroner Karen Dilks recorded a narrative verdict into Amelia’s death.

It reads: “Amelia died due to complications from necessary treatment for high-risk neuroblastoma.”

The Northern Echo: Amelia during her stay in hospital Amelia during her stay in hospital (Image: Contributor)Recommended reading:

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The coroner expressed her sympathy to family members, including Amelia’s parents, aunt and grandparents, who were in court.

She said: “I know this has been long journey and been difficult for you.

“I would like to thank you for coming along and everyone who has helped me providing statements and giving evidence.

“Could I extend to you my very sincere personal condolences on the loss of your daughter?

“She was obviously a beautiful little girl.”

The Northern Echo: Amelia Davies Amelia Davies (Image: Contributor)