Memorial held for St Albans 'super pupil' who tragically died
PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 December 2016
A poignant memorial has been held at a St Albans primary school for a 'super pupil' who tragically died while in a coma.
Maisie Mae Ryan, a Garden Fields JMI School student, died at the age of six on September 9 this year at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
Garden Fields, Townsend Drive, held a memorial for Maisie last Wednesday (14) as part of its Christmas Jumper Day.
A spokeswoman for the school said: “We were joined by Maisie’s mum, sister and friends who saw the unveiling of a new friendship bench inscribed with ‘Friends Forever’ to remember Maisie as friendships were so important to her while at school.”
The youngster was struck by a common virus during the summer holidays, and became gravely ill after being discharged from Watford General Hospital.
After being placed into an induced coma at St Mary’s Hospital, Maisie was transferred to GOSH.
But her lungs had hardened and her heart was weakened. As there was no possibility of a double lung transplant, her parents made the difficult decision to have her life support machine switched off.
Maisie died from acute respiratory distress syndrome, a life-threatening medical condition where the lungs cannot provide enough oxygen for the rest of the body.
In a tribute to the popular girl carried by this paper in September, the school’s head teacher Chris Jukes described Maisie as a caring and ‘super pupil’ who always had a smile on her face, and ‘was a friend to all’.
The bench will be used to help children make and support friendships.
As part of the memorial event, a number of children let balloons fly into the air while a beautiful poem about friends was read.
The school spokeswoman said: “All the staff and children had a moment of reflection remembering Maisie, before they enjoyed their Christmas dinner.”
She said it was an “amazing sight to see hundreds of children chasing two Father Christmases around the school field” as part of Garden Field’s Santa Dash to raise money for GOSH.