‘She grew wings and flew to heaven’
A GOLD Coast family is mourning the loss of their eight-year-old daughter who "grew wings and flew to heaven" after her shock passing over the weekend.
Chelsea Hammel, who suffered from the rare disease Aicardi Syndrome, was discovered in her bed on Saturday morning after dying in her sleep.
Non-verbal and suffering from epilepsy and mild cerebral palsy, Chelsea's death was a devastating knock to the family of five who expected the "happy child" to live into her teens.
The family, who live in Steglitz, have been documenting Chelsea's journey (Chance for Chelsea) and daily battles since she was diagnosed with the debilitating disease at just 13 weeks old.
Chelsea's mother Melissa Hammel said the family's hearts were broken by the loss of "daddy's little girl".
"She had an amazing 3240 days of love and care from so many family and friends and we provided her with her best life," Ms Hammel said.
"Aicardi Syndrome was something Chelsea had, not who she was. She will not suffer with seizures anymore.
"She has touched the lives of so many people and we loved that our community was so accepting of her.
"She always had a smile on her face and loved her family dearly. Her smile was infectious."
The family had previously worked with the community to raise money for a dream home built specifically to their daughter's complex needs.
They had also gained a large following and support through their Facebook page, 'Chance for Chelsea'.
The young Beenleigh special school student was known for her love of Emma the yellow Wiggle, swimming, swings in the park, her dad Trent, mother Melissa and her two young brothers.
According to her parents she lived life to the fullest, and given every opportunity to live life to the max.
She was always out on an adventure, boating, park days, road trips and family picnics.
"We advocated her whole life and fought for her, and to keep her home, make her part of the community," Melissa said.
"We know now she is free."
The family who are organising the funeral are working to raise funds to give their daughter the "send off she deserved".
"We want her goodbye to be about the whole community and all of her friends, she was so loved," Ms Hammel said.