The family of the late Stephen McCusker have described his baby daughter - born just a week after his death - as a little miracle.
Lauren Sinead McCusker is proving to be a little fighter having been born slightly premature.
Stephen’s mum Mary McKeever described her new granddaughter as a ‘little miracle’.
“She was slightly underweight at the start and she needed a wee bit of help with feeding at the start but she is coming on leaps and bounds.”
She explained that Lauren was just over 4lb in weight when she was born and she remains in hospital until she is 5lb.
“Stephen would have been busting with pride. All he did before he died was talk about his baby,” said Mary.
His sister, Shannon McKeever, (17) said her brother, who named his daughter before he died, was so excited. “I spoke to him the night before he died and all he talked about was his wee baby coming.”
Mary said: “She is a blessing. She has kept us going.
“We have been at the hospital every day and she is improving every day.
“Our Stephen would have been just busting with pride.”
She said she has been overwhelmed with the support and kindness of so many people.
“I had no idea how many great friends Stephen had,” said Mary, who added she cannot get over the number of young people who have been calling with her with gifts for the baby including nappies, clothes and shoes. “They are saying to me, ‘we can’t give them to Stephen, so we are giving them to you’.”
Mary, who is a massive Elvis fan and travelled to Graceland many times, said she couldn’t believe the calls from Memphis and across the globe including Australia, calling to support her when Stephen died and then to congratulate her when she became a granny.
“Among all the tears, that makes me smile,” said Mary.
The McCusker, McKeever and Kelly families thank everyone for their support since Stephen’s death and since the birth of his daughter.