Cancer girl Jessica Whelan's dad leaves touching tribute

Mr Whelan took this heartbreaking image of Jessica in October this year, shortly after they'd been told she only had weeks to live (Facebook)
Mr Whelan took this heartbreaking image of Jessica in October this year, shortly after they'd been told she only had weeks to live (Facebook)

A father whose haunting photograph of his four-year-old daughter captured hearts worldwide in the weeks before cancer took her life has paid an emotional tribute to her.

British girl Jessica Whelan was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma in September last year.

Her father Andrew Whelan has now paid homage to his daughter in a moving Facebook post.

"Never again will I hear your joyful cry out of "Daddy!!!" as I walk through the front door, never again will I hear that infectious giggle of yours as you mischievously climb and jump all over me, tickling me as we play fight," Mr Whelan wrote.

"I should be led here planning our next family trip not led here planning your funeral. I should be led here singing alongside you your favourite songs not adding them to a playlist to be played as we say goodbye to you."

Later in the post, Mr Whelan apologises that she had to suffer as much as she did.

"It breaks me to think about what you have had to endure for a quarter of your short life and it will be a cause of my nightmares for me for years to come.

"I miss you Jessica, tears rolling down my cheeks and wetting my pillow as I think of you and the bond we shared.

"Goodnight my beautiful angel, please come and give me a cuddle as I sleep xxx"

Yesterday Mr Whelan announced that Jessica had passed away.

Neuroblastoma, the cancer which took Jessica's life, is the most common form of child cancer worldwide, and involves a tumour stealing maturing nerve cells in the brain and converting them into cancer cells.

Mr Whelan took the heartbreaking image of Jessica in October this year, shortly after they'd been told she only had weeks to live.

At the time he said it was important to capture "the truth and the reality of the situation".

Newshub.