Headstone pleas for tragic Spalding tot

The heartbroken teenage parents of a baby girl from Spalding who died on Saturday have launched an appeal to buy the much-loved tot a special headstone.

Baby Ellie-May Grace Payne died in the earl hours of Saturday. ANL-160308-134344001

Ryan Payne (19) and Emily Park (17) had their little girl – Ellie-May Grace Payne – for eight months and one week when she was found lifeless in her cot at about 1.30am.

Emily says it was the worst morning of her life waking up to hear Ryan shouting “dial 999” when he discovered Ellie-May wasn’t breathing.

Ryan and ambulance paramedics tried to revive Ellie-May but, tragically, she lost her battle for life.

Teenage parents Emily Park and Ryan Payne with the baby daughter who meant the world to them. ANL-160308-134321001

Writing on Facebook, Emily said: “Words can’t decribe how heart-breaking it is.”

Ryan believes Ellie-May died at some time between 11.30pm and 1.30am.

The young dad checked on Ellie-May at 1.30am and told the Spalding Guardian: “She was laid on her front and I turned her over. She was really cold and not breathing.”

The parents are awaiting the outcome of a post mortem examination to discover why Ellie–May died.

Teenage parents Emily Park and Ryan Payne with the baby daughter who meant the world to them. ANL-160308-134321001

Emily and Ryan have turned their thoughts to a funeral, on a date to be fixed, and have also launched a public appeal so they can buy a Me to You Bears headstone for their baby’s grave in Spalding Cemetery.

More than £700 was raised towards the £2,500-plus target by 57 people in just two days.

Writing on their gofundme page, the parents say: “We would like to raise enough to get the headstone that she deserves.

“We need your help to give her the best send off. We really appreciate all your donations – thank you.”

The appeal for help features the picture of Ellie-May that’s on our front page, which was the last one ever taken of the baby girl on a trip to the supermarket.

Writing on Facebook, Emily says Ellie-May was always a happy girl unless she couldn’t get her own way.

She continues: “No matter what, we will always love you and be proud of how much a cheeky girl you turned out to be.”

Emily says she will miss Ellie-May – and miss hearing her voice.

She tells her baby girl to “fly high, my angel” and says how sorry she is that she could not be revived.

Ryan, a window fitter with a company called Fusion, told the Spalding Guardian: “It’s a shock. We are just going day by day, really.”

Emily and Ryan say they have had enormous support from their families and friends.

They have thanked everyone who has supported them and all of the people who have so generously donated to their appeal.

If you want to help, please click on this link www.gofundme.com/2ha2a3pm