A grieving mum who shared an image of her dying daughter in the arms of her dad has explained why she posted the photo online.

Casey and Ben Daggett shared the image of their five-year-old, Zoey, cradled by her father as she listened to stories and music during her final hours at their home near New York, in the US.

Zoey was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour almost two years ago and had been visiting hospital fortnightly ever since.


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Ms Daggett has spoken out since the personal photo went viral last week to explain why she shared the gut-wrenching image.

“I shared it because even though it’s a painful moment, it’s a beautiful moment in our eyes,” the mother told MailOnline.

“It was a kind of peaceful moment for Ben and me. This is our reality and we wanted to show people every side of it.”

The couple had been documenting their daughter’s condition online via a Facebook page, Zoey’s Light, with friends and the community touched by her story. The photo of her last moments, taken by a nurse, was shared along with the caption:

“Zoey is going to be shared with the world. Her love and light have been abundant and we will continue to pay it forward and share love and light with the world”.

“Zoey was full of life, spunk and happiness and we know that she was loved by so many. We ask for your thoughts during this time of sadness,” her mother wrote online.

Our thoughts are with the family x

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  • May this dear little angel rest in peace. It is a young life taken too soon by a cruel unrelenting disease. It is horrific seeing somebody suffering with a brain tumor and gradually fading away while suffering so much pain. I have older relatives succumb to brain tumors and even very strong pain relief is not very helpful.

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  • I can understand the parents want to share, their hearts must be full of love for this child that left the earth to soon. Bless the family, may she live on forever in their hearts.

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  • A beautiful little angel at rest. No longer suffering

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  • As a parent, this breaks my heart. I can’t fathom the pain of this kind of loss and I don’t know if I would have the strength to bear it. This family has admirable strength to not only share zoey with the world but to help raise awareness as well.

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  • So heartbreaking. I could never imagine having to go through losing a child.

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  • Beautiful and heartbreaking

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  • I understand this. When you lose a child you want others to acknowledge them.

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  • So sad. Such a brave little soul. Children shouldn’t be allowed to get sick ☹️

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  • Our thoughts are with the family!

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  • Heartbreaking and so brave to share.

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  • My condolences to the family. :-(

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  • My heart goes out to this family. I don’t know if I’d have their strength if any of my children were ill. Rest In Peace now little one

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  • Heartbreaking! RIP sweet one and huge condolences to the grieving parents x

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  • I cannot imagine their grief – every sympathy.

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  • Such a beautiful life cut short. RIP little Zoey. My heart goes out to her family

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