A LANTERN that heartbroken parents placed at their toddler's graveside because she "was scared of the dark" has been stolen by heartless thieves.

Two-year-old Olivia Mae Conway died on November 13, 2016 from sepsis.

The toddler, who had severe aplastic anaemia, contracted the infection after her immune system became weak following a successful bone marrow transplant .

St Helens Star:

The last picture ever taken of Olivia, two days before she died

After she died, parents Charlene Harrison and Craig Conway, from Eccleston, decorated their precious daughter's grave with lights.

They also paid for a granite lantern to sit at the graveside of Olivia, who was frightened of the dark.

However, last night, Monday, July 15, the parents made the heartbreaking discovery that thieves had taken the lantern.

Charlene, 38, said: "We went at 9am yesterday turning off her battery operated lights and the lantern was there. When we went back at 6pm after work it was gone.

"A piece of torn kitchen roll was in its place. The lantern is really heavy because it is made from granite so it must have been an adult who took it and maybe wrapped it up.

"It's just heartbreaking. She's got lights on because she was scared of the dark. I can't bear the thought of her being scared, so that lantern never goes off.

St Helens Star:

Olivia during her treatment

"It means everything to us knowing it's there. It's worth nothing really in money but for us it means the world, because it's for Olivia.

"If they return it I won't do anything further, but please look into your hearts and return it.

"It's from a child's grave, and you had to know that because her little picture is all over the gravestone.

"She's been here three years now and there has never been any problems.

"Please do the right thing – we don't want our baby left in the dark."

Since Olivia's death Charlene and Craig have raised just under £6,000 for the community in Olivia's memory, including paying for Cuddle Cots and a memorial garden.

This Saturday, July 20, Charlene is also set to take part in her first 5k event in Aintree in aid of Anthony Nolan, the charity that provided a successful bone marrow transplant for Olivia before she died.

St Helens Star:

Charlene, right, has been training five days a week at the gym for the 5k in her daughter's memory which will take place on Saturday. Pictured with Carolyn Logan from Xercise4Less.

Charlene added: "This little girl has done more after she died for this community than many do when they are alive.

"I just can't believe that anyone would do this, it's devastating."

Charlene is looking to raise £1,000 for Anthony Nolan which will pay for 40 kits where donors can get tested and be on the register to save lives.

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