Coleen Rooney shares message to sister Rosie who died aged 14

Coleen Rooney marks her late sister Rosie’s 21st birthday with touching tribute… six years after her tragic death aged 14

Coleen Rooney has posted a heartfelt tribute to her sister Rosie, who passed away when she was 14, on what would have been her 21st birthday. 

Rosie suffered from Rett syndrome, a genetic brain disorder that causes problems with language, coordination and repetitive movements, and died on January 5, 2013.

Sharing several snaps of Rosie over the years, Coleen wrote: ‘If only you were here to celebrate Rosie Mc, we would have the biggest party for the most special girl. Happy 21st Birthday Ro.’    

Post: Coleen Rooney has posted a heartfelt tribute to her sister Rosie, who passed away when she was 14, on what would have been her 21st birthday

Coleen idolised her adopted sister and chose Rosie as chief bridesmaid when she married Wayne in 2008.

Rosie was originally taken in as a foster child by Coleen’s parents, bricklayer Tony and Colette, a former nursery nurse, when she was two. Although they were aware she was disabled they did not know the full extent of the incurable condition.


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In an exclusive article for The Mail on Sunday in 2006, Coleen wrote: ‘When Rosie arrived she could crawl, and even though she couldn’t use her hands that much she would handle toys on her play mat and she could eat…

‘But over a period of time she stopped crawling and lost what use of her hands she had. Then she started having problems swallowing her food… 

Tribute: Rosie suffered from Rett syndrome, a genetic brain disorder that problems with language, coordination, and repetitive movements, and died on January 5, 2013

Sharing several snaps of Rosie over the years, Coleen wrote: ‘If only you were here to celebrate Rosie Mc, we would have the biggest party for the most special girl. Happy 21st Birthday Ro’

‘It took pretty much a year for Rosie to be diagnosed and, looking back, I can see how much Mum pushed to find out what was wrong with her and to try to do what was best for her.’

In a statement released shortly after her death, Tony and Colette wrote: ‘Sadly our special angel Rosie, our much-loved daughter and sister, went to Heaven at 2.50 this morning at home where she was surrounded by her loving family.

‘Rosie was just 14 years old and fought a lifelong battle with Rett syndrome. Throughout her life she brought so much love and happiness to all our family and everyone who knew and met her. 

Family: Coleen was said to idolise her adopted sister and chose Rosie as chief bridesmaid when she married Wayne in 2008

Past: Rosie was originally taken in as a foster child by Coleen’s parents, bricklayer Tony and Colette

‘She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all. We shall cherish for ever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life. As a family we are heartbroken but we are blessed to have had her in our lives.

Coleen had been on holiday in Barbados with her younger brothers, Joe and Anthony, but cut short the trip when she heard that Rosie’s condition had deteriorated.

Taking to Twitter to express her sorrow shortly after her passing, she wrote: ‘We are absolutely heartbroken to have lost our angel Rosie.

‘So glad we ended our holiday short, due to her deteriorating & we was able to spend the last few days together with her and our family! Sleep tight Rosie Mc x. We love you more than words can say x.’

What is Rett Syndrome? 

  • Rett syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects brain development, resulting in severe mental and physical disability.
  • It is estimated to affect about 1 in 12,000 girls born each year and is only rarely seen in males, according to the NHS.
  • Almost all cases of Rett syndrome are caused by a mutation (a change in the DNA) in the MECP2 gene, which is found on the X chromosome (one of the sex chromosomes).
  • Complications can include seizures, scoliosis, and sleeping problems and those affected can have slower growth, problems walking and a smaller head size.
  • There is no known cure for Rett syndrome. 

Memories: In a statement released shortly after her death, Tony and Colette wrote: ‘Sadly our special angel Rosie, our much-loved daughter and sister, went to Heaven at 2.50 this morning at home where she was surrounded by her loving family.

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