A “bright” eight-year-old girl died suddenly last week when she falling ill at school – after suffering from a brain aneurysm.
Zara Witherall collapsed in the classroom and was rushed to Great Ormond Street Hospital, but tragically died there.
Heartbroken mum Rachel, 39, paid tribute to her ‘angel’, and thanked the community for their support.
She said: “It was just me and her, just the two of us, she was my life.
“We had a perfect life.
“She went to school perfectly happy on Wednesday, and then I got a call saying she had collapsed at school when I was at work.
“She was being resuscitated when I arrived and they worked on her for a bit before the air ambulance arrived.
“They took her to the Royal London Hospital then they rushed her to Great Ormond Street but it was too late, she was brain dead.
“She died from a brain aneurysm, but she could have been born with it, it’s a ticking time bomb.
“There’s no reason for it, it’s terrible, I’m heartbroken.”
Following Zara’s death the community decided to help the family to fund her funeral costs and raise money for the air ambulance.
A Just Giving page has already raised well beyond its £5,000 target, and has currently raised almost £7,300.
Rachel, from Bovingdon, Herts., added: “The support from the community has been overwhelming, I can’t believe it.
“Everyone is devastated, she was known by everyone, and we’re all heartbroken.
“It’s a small village so everyone knows everyone but I’ve had messages from strangers telling me how sad they are about it.
“My friend Kayleigh started the crowd funder to help me cover the funeral costs and it’s been amazing, I can’t thank people enough.”
Local coffee shop Dorothy’s is holding a coffee morning tomorrow morning to raise further funds for Zara’s headstone and the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust.
Bovingdon Primary Academy, where Zara was in year three, also paid their respects to her and her family with head teacher Shereen Breslin describing Zara as being a ‘bright and bubbly child’.
“All of the children and staff have attended a special assembly followed by the opportunity to openly talk within their class, to their teacher and fellow pupils.
“We will continue to do everything possible to support the children and staff.
“Zara was a bright, bubbly child with a beautiful smile. She will be hugely missed by us all.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Zara’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”
Bovingdon FC paid their own respects with a minute’s silence ahead of their match with Letchworth Garden City Eagles on Saturday.