Kia Lettice, the 22-year-old whom former NRL player Beau Ryan visited in hospital last week, has passed away.
The 22-year-old’s friend Mahalia Murphy — who caught Ryan’s attention when she put a call-out on Facebook for “Greg Inglis or Beau Ryan to come see [Kia]” at her bedside — shared the news on Facebook on Sunday night.
“Heart breaking to share with all that the beautiful Kia Louis Lettice has sadly left us today,” Murphy wrote.
“She had her loved ones by her side at the hardest time. Just want to thank all that had supported Kia in any way and helped her fly away with a smile.”
Over the weekend, Ryan had opened up about the “humbling” experience of visiting Lettice at her bedside on Tuesday, after she was informed she had just hours to live.
In an interview with radio station 2GB on Saturday, Ryan he didn’t think twice about rushing to the hospital, despite avoiding them since his daughter was born.
“But when I got the call about Kia, I didn’t really think about it, as anyone in this position would do,” the 31-year-old said.
"It’s quite humbling to think that in someone’s last breath they want to see you.
"We did everything we could to get there and Kia’s father was the first person I met there and he had tears in eyes.
"We’ve all had ups and downs, but at the end of the day if someone is in a time of need and you’re in a position to help them, that’s what we do."
“They were obviously bracing to lose her and that shocked me," he said.
"That rattled me because I’ve got a little girl myself and she means the world to me. Along with my wife.
“These people are from [NSW town] Narrabri, blue-collar, salt of the earth people, their family foster out eight other kids as well," he said.
"All I want to say is that anyone that anything they can offer, be it emotional support or financial, to visit the Royal Children’s Hospital or Ronald McDonald House and give what you can.
"Because there’s another 100 rooms and families like this."
Our thoughts are with Kia Lettice's family and loved ones.