Heartbroken dad Ashley Cain has revealed he fought back tears so his daughter didn’t see him cry as she bravely battled cancer
Ashley Cain fought back tears of despair for his late baby daughter Azaylia.
The former footballer and partner Safiyya Vorajee tragically saw their eight-month-old daughter die in April after a brave battle with blood cancer.
“Having a child for me was something that I was looking forward to my whole life,” he told Fearne Cotton on her Happy Place podcast.
“It all seemed perfect, it was the best day of my life when Azaylia was born but it’s even hard talking about it now.
“Babies can’t speak but they’re very sensory beings so they pick up on senses probably even more than we do so I went in to the hospital one day and I said to my partner ‘look, this isn’t about you and me anymore, this is about our beautiful baby, she cannot see us cry’.
“I said ‘she cannot see us upset she cannot see us having a bad day. When we are in this room this is club 100, we smile, we dance, we play’.”
Ashley admitted even though his baby girl had tragically passed away, “it was a very, very good, amazing eight months”.
Although he revealed getting the news from doctors that Azaylia would never recover “was devastating.”
“To find out that the best thing that’s happened to you is near from being taken away from you is something I can’t describe,” admitted Ashley.
Strict coronavirus restrictions meant that Ashley and Safiyya, 25, could only see Azaylia one at a time while she was fighting her disease in hospital.
“To be in that kind of situation without any support is very difficult, especially with the fear of waking up every day and thinking that your baby might not be here with you,” Ashley said.
“The craziest thing about it… in a way the fact that it was Covid made it really special because if we were allowed in there together, if our families were allowed to be in there, it would have kind of diluted the kind of time, the experience and the bond that we got to have with our daughter.”
But he stressed: “I know for a fact that we couldn’t have possibly made more of our time in there with her. I feel like I’ve known Azaylia for 50, 60 years.”
Ashley said Azaylia gave him and his partner strength through her resilience and joyful disposition.
“The maddest thing is, I thought in the first place we were going to have to be strong for her and it turned out she was the one who gave us her strength, she was the one that made us happy, she was the one that made us brave and she was totally a special, special baby,” he told Fearne.
Ashley and Safiyya are now setting up a foundation in their daughter’s name to help other children with cancer.
“These are beautiful, pure, little children who haven’t done anything to anybody,” reflected Ashley.
“I have finally found something that means more to me than the air in my lungs: Azaylia’s legacy, this foundation, and helping everyone and anyone that I possibly can.
“I just want to do as much good on this earth so I can earn my place while I’m here so I can be with her again forever.”