A SECRET Santa has paid a visit to a Maryborough family who was in danger of missing out on Christmas after a heartbreaking tragedy.
Stacey Allwood, who lost her four-month-old daughter to spina bifida in October, was reduced to tears when she found a pile of presents had been dropped off at her door, just in time for Christmas.
The young mum was left devastated when her daughter Laylah-Leigh died at home unexpectedly on October 13.
Laylah-Leigh had been through a lot in her short life, having had brain surgery when she was just a few days old after she was diagnosed with the neural tube defect while she was still in utero.
As Stacey stayed by Laylah-Leigh in hospital, she promised her daughter that she would become a nurse and help other babies.
She is intending to enrol at the university campus in Hervey Bay.
Stacey said she and her partner Corey Bingham were left devastated by the loss of Laylah-Leigh.
They had been not been able to afford Christmas presents for their other two daughters, Lilly-Marie, 3, and Jayda-Rose, 1, or each other this year after having to pay for their baby's funeral.
The Christmas tree was bare ahead of Christmas Day, but Stacey had a plan - to turn Christmas Eve into an activity day for her girls, to decorate their own reindeers and paintings so they could still be part of the holiday season.
However the spirit of Christmas was brought to life for the family when Ms Allwood returned home from work and found three pink stockings full of presents in a big cardboard box left at the front of her unit, including toys, dolls and gift vouchers.
Stacey said she started crying when she saw the presents outside her home.
"It was a random act," she said.
"It just brought me to tears."
Stacey said she had first suspected that a friend had done the kind deed.
But when she asked around, no one knew where the presents had come from.
Adding to the family's emotional day, moulds made from Laylah-Leigh's tiny hands and feet also arrived on Tuesday, just in time for Christmas.
Stacey said she wanted to get in contact with the person who had left the gifts and tell them what they meant to her.
"I would love to thank them in person and give them a hug," she said.
"It has given me hope for the future."