Jade Schievink with daughter London. File

Langley baby girl who beat the odds at birth passes away

London Mirielle McConnell, born prematurely in 2017, touched many hearts

A candlelight vigil will be held tonight (Sunday, April 7) for London Mirielle McConnell, the little Langley girl who passed away on Friday after a long battle for survival that touched many hearts.

The vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford, on the west side near the water park.

Organizer Dorinda Selinger, a family friend, said participants are being asked to wear rainbows to reflect the fact that a double rainbow was seen shortly after London died.

“We’re just going to have people maybe speak about how their lives have been touched by [London’s] story,” Selinger said.

READ MORE: Community comes together to support critically sick child at BC Children’s Hospital

London was born 17 weeks premature on Oct.25, 2017 at Surrey Memorial Hospital, weighing one pound, two ounces.

Mother Jade Schievink was told the tiny baby likely wouldn’t make it, but London beat the odds.

“She just smiles in every photo,” Schievink told the Langley Advance Times in March. “She’s the most precious, happiest, loving baby.”

Schievink, her husband, Cody McConnell, and their children Ayla, seven, Kashton, five, and London recently moved from Langley to Surrey.

Four weeks ago, London had to be rushed to BC Children’s Hospital where she was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit with what appeared to be pneumonia. Tests revealed she had parainfluenza.

Because her family didn’t qualify to stay at Ronald McDonald House near the BC Children’s Hospital grounds due to proximity, they ended up sleeping in hotels in Vancouver or at the hospital room where London stayed.

A GoFundMe campaign set up to help Schievink and her family during the stay at BC Children’s Hospital had raised more than its $20,000 goal.

On Friday, Schievink posted a public message to her Instagram account about her daughter passing, then made the post private.

Selinger said many of the people planning to attend the vigil are members of a private Facebook group for mothers.

“We are her village,” Selinger said. “We were all praying so hard. I was absolutely devastated.”

A singer has volunteered to perform the Spice Girls song “Goodbye,” something London’s mother requested.

Many family supporters are taking to social media to light a candle for the girl.

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