Coleen Rooney's sister Rosie dies
- 5 January 2013
- From the section Liverpool
The teenage sister of Coleen Rooney has died after a lifelong battle with a rare genetic disorder.
Rosie McLoughlin, 14, who had Rett syndrome, died at her home in Liverpool in the early hours surrounded by her relatives, a family spokesman said.
In a statement, Coleen, her husband, Manchester United and England star Wayne, and the rest of Rosie's family, said they had been left "heartbroken".
"She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all," it said.
"We shall cherish forever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life."
The family thanked staff at Liverpool's Alder Hey Hospital and Claire House Children's Hospice in Wirral, Merseyside, where Rosie was treated and asked for privacy at this "sad and difficult time".
Later, on Twitter, Coleen wrote: "Thank you so much for all your lovely messages and kind words. We are absolutely heart broken to have lost our angel Rosie.
"So glad we ended our holiday short, due to her deteriorating & we was able to spend the last few days together with her an our family! Sleep tight Rosie Mc x. We love you more than words can say x."
Rett syndrome is a neurological disorder that affects just one in 12,000 females, according to the NHS. It causes severe physical and mental disability that begins in early childhood.
Rosie's illness inspired adopted sister Coleen and her husband to help raise funds for sick, disadvantaged and disabled children.