A FATHER has paid a heartbreaking tribute to his “one-in-a-million” daughter who tragically died aged just 22 after contracting coronavirus.

Philippa Raper lost her battle with the disease in April after being taken to hospital in Grimsby, where she was living with her mum.

Her dad, David, 53, rushed from his home in Eldwick, Bingley, when he received a call to say Philippa was receiving end of life care. Devastatingly, he wasn’t able to get there before she passed away. 

Now, he is hoping to create a lasting memorial to his much-loved daughter so she will always be remembered.

Philippa was born with borderline hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid in the brain, and had many health complications throughout her life which meant she had to be tube fed from being a young child, was on oxygen everyday and eventually became wheelchair bound. 

Despite her ordeal, devoted dad David described her as a “warrior”. 

He said: “Whilst Philippa had disabilities, she has, in general, lived very happily. 

“She had so many hobbies and liked the simple things in life. Pip loved watching a washing machine go round and round, playing with bubbles, watching fireworks on the computer, listening to music, going on walks and to large shops as she loved her independence when pushing herself around in her wheelchair.”

She visited more than 10 countries in her life and saw the Statue of Liberty in New York City and paddled in the Indian Ocean in Australia. 

David added: “Philippa was literally one-in-a-million, she brought a smile to the face of everyone that met her, and she is so sorely missed. I am heartbroken as much as proud to have been her dad.”

The last time David saw Philippa was the day before the country was plunged into lockdown, as she had spent some time with him in Bradford.

Then on April 20, he received the devastating news the hospital was giving her end of life care.

“Twenty minutes before I got there, I got a phone call saying she had passed. 

“I’m a pretty strong guy, but it has traumatised me. We were so close, our connection was just amazing.

“She was a fighter, someone who had such a will to have fun. She shined love - she gave more love in those 22 years than anyone else ever could.

“I just remember her as a very brave, happy soul. I always referred to her as a little treasure.”

Back in 2018, Philippa was hospitalised with pneumonia and it was touch and go whether she would survive.

David, who now lives in Otley, said: “To get another two years, I was very grateful, she fought so hard.

“She was a little warrior. When she left the hospital, I was told, be prepared to lose her by the end of the year. She had two amazing years.”

David is now hoping to raise funds to create a memorial to Philippa to honour her “bravery, her zest for fun, her strength in the face of adversity”. 

Read more by visiting www.crowdfunder.co.uk/help-with-a-memorial-for-my-daughter