Family and friends pay tribute to Bicester teenager Victoria Dyer, who defied the odds

The Oxford Times: Back, left to right, Theresa Dyer, Ben, Luke, Nikki Abbott (Daniel’s partner) and Daniel. Front: Danny and Victoria Back, left to right, Theresa Dyer, Ben, Luke, Nikki Abbott (Daniel’s partner) and Daniel. Front: Danny and Victoria

A FAMILY have paid tribute to their “beautiful little miracle” who was the inspiration for a £36,000 fundraising campaign.

Victoria Dyer suffered complications at birth but defied doctors’ predictions that she wouldn’t survive, going on to celebrate her 13th birthday in January.

In recent years her health had deteriorated, and sadly on April 29, she died in her mother Theresa’s arms, surrounded by her family, at Oxford’s Helen and Douglas House.

Victoria, who had cerebral palsy, inspired her family, including dad Danny, 50, and brothers Daniel, 23, Ben, 22, and Luke, 17, and friends to raise cash for organisations across Oxfordshire including SSNAP, Rosy, Helen House Hospice and Bardwell School.

In the days following her death the family received more than 200 cards, flowers and messages.

Mrs Dyer, 50, said: “I was cuddling her and she just quietly slipped away.

“It was very much a shock, I knew she was on her way, but didn’t think it would be so quick. I think she chose the time and place.”

In 2001 doctors at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital told the Dyer family Victoria would not survive and they made the agonising decision to turn off her life support machine.

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But little Victoria proved everyone wrong.

Two years ago the family faced losing Victoria again, but she battled back.

Since then the Dyer family have cared for her around the clock at home with support from Rosy and Helen House nurses.

Mrs Dyer, of Somerville Drive, Bicester, said: “I think we gave her as much as we could. It was all about quality of life.

“To have those 13 years it was a miracle.

“She was a very beautiful girl, always smiling and never really complained. She always had a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes.”

They have pledged to carry on fundraising to help the organisations that support many other families across the county. Mrs Dyer said: “We value, and know how important they are. We could not have done what we did without that back-up and that support.”

A “much-loved” pupil at Bardwell School since she was two-and-a-half, Victoria was described by her friends as “nice, funny, smiley and someone who loved gossip and smiled a lot.”

Headteacher John Riches said: “Our whole school is saddened by the loss of Victoria, but we have many happy memories of her time in school and she will be remembered fondly.’’

Her funeral takes place tomorrow at St Edburg’s Church, Bicester, at 1pm.

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