Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets to pay tribute to a beloved three-year-old girl who died following a courageous battle against cancer.
‘Funny’ Porsha-Nevaeh Williams, from a traveller family in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, was laid to rest on Thursday afternoon after a cortege including a horse-drawn carriage travelled from her home to Llwydcoed Cemetery.
Porsha died in January after 17 gruelling months at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital in Cardiff, where she was renowned for her courage as she battled a rare form of blood cancer.
Her mother Chloe, 22, said her daughter had an amazing sense of humour, adding: ‘She was the funniest character. She never failed to smile, even on a bad day.’
Porsha’s funeral started with hundreds of mourners lining the streets outside her home alongside stunning floral tributes to her favourite things, from Spider-Man and Peppa Pig to Dairylea Dunkers and Peter’s pies.
Hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects on Thursday to three-year-old Porsha-Nevaeh Williams, who died following a courageous battle against blood cancer
Porsha-Nevaeh, from Wales, was ‘the funniest character’, said her mother Chloe, 22
The youngster was transported in a horse-drawn carriage and was laid to rest in Llwydcoed Cemetery
A country song loved by the toddler played as her family carried the coffin into a hearse, which was drawn by white horses when the procession set off.
Porsha ‘loved her iPad’, added Chloe, and enjoyed searching YouTube for children’s music like Cocomelon and Diana and Roma.
Grandmother Lynda Keefe, 49, said: ‘She was a party animal. She loved the Ed Sheeran song Bad Habits.’
Chloe paid tribute to the work of Dr Phil Connors at Noah’s Ark Hospital, who ‘tried his very best to save’ her daughter.
She said: ‘He went for funding, he tried getting a lung transplant for her. It was too late. He went to hell and back to make Porsha live.’
Lynda said she ‘stole the heart of everyone’. Distant family members came from across south Wales and even as far afield as London to mourn her death.
‘She was so loved on TikTok,’ said Lynda. ‘The whole of south Wales was following her journey through the videos.’
Porsha’s one-year-old sister Mae Mae has also struggled with illness and the two had not been able to spend much time together until the final months of Porsha’s life. Lynda said: ‘Porsha loved babysitting. Porsha would say, “My Mae Mae.”
Porsha’s parents Chloe and Jamie were among the pallbearers who carried her coffin from the house to the hearse as hundreds of people watched on
Her casket was covered in flowers and beads to mark special moments in the three-year-old’s life
A long string of ‘journey beads’ were placed on Porsha’s coffin in the home before the procession began, with each bead representing a part of Porsha’s life.
She had helped make the beads with her mum Chloe at Noah’s Ark Hospital in Cardiff, where she had stayed longer than any other patient on the rainbow ward, 17 months in total.
Lynda said: ‘They called her the Merthyr warrior. Her two favourite nurses were Mel and Jo. She liked them so much she had two goldfish that she named Mel and Jo.’
A mould of Porsha’s hands and feet was completed shortly before her death. Chloe said the family would cherish the memorial forever.
The mother spoke about the Noah’s Ark Hospital staff’s adoration for Chloe and her best friend Harry, who together were known as ‘king and queen of the ward’.
Lynda added: ‘Porsha was very particular about who she mixed with but she adored her friends Harry and Adam.’
Chloe said: ‘Now she is in the sky with her friend Harry.’
Porsha’s parents Chloe and Jamie were among the pallbearers who carried her coffin from the house to the hearse.
As they did so, one of Porsha’s favourite songs, Hope You’re Feelin’ Me (Like I’m Feelin’ You) by Charley Pride played over speakers and many sang along.
Chloe said: ‘She knew every word of it. She was a very good singer.’