Tributes paid to "bright, lovely" 6-year-old St Albans girl
PUBLISHED: 17:15 15 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:42 15 September 2016
The devastated family of a young girl who died while in a coma have spoken of their heartbreak at the loss of a "happy child with a wicked sense of humour".
Tributes have been paid to Maisie Mae Ryan, a Garden Fields JMI School pupil, who died last Friday (9) night at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).
The six year old became ill with a common virus during the school holidays, and was taken to Watford General Hospital on August 5, after she vomited and had a high temperature.
Maisie was discharged the next day, but when her mum, Alex Frame, found her slumped on the stairs at home, she returned to Watford.
After her condition deteriorated further, the girl was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in London on August 9, where, after being placed into an induced coma, she remained for nine days before being transferred to GOSH.
Alex said that Maisie had an adenovirus infection, and although she fought it, her lungs became hardened and her heart became weaker.
She and Maisie’s dad, Ben Ryan, made the difficult decision to have their daughter’s life support machine switched off, as there was no possibility of a double lung transplant.
A distraught Alex and Ben explained that 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.
They said the family, including Maisie’s sister, Ellie, were “devastated”.
Alex said: “Maisie was a good girl, with a wicked sense of humour” who loved to sing, dance and have her face painted, and was “loved by everyone who came into contact with her.
“I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and support from friends, family and members of the public. We all will miss her. I feel so heartbroken, but Maisie touched so many hearts in her short life.”
A family friend, Samantha Lewis, said: “Maisie had many, many friends inside and outside of school, and will be dearly missed by many. It’s tragic as she was a bright, lovely girl.”
Samantha has organised an event at Garden Fields this weekend, where sky lanterns and balloons will be released in Maisie’s memory.
Head teacher, Chris Jukes, said: “Maisie was a super pupil; she was spirited, determined and a keen child. Everyone will remember her with a smile on her face. She was a friend to all, and a very caring person.
“From the staff’s point of view, she was held in high regard; she was adored throughout the school – she was always smiling, and we will miss her.”
• Light up the skies for Maisie takes place this Saturday (17), from 7.30pm. All are welcome to attend the commemorative event at Garden Fields. Also, an online fundraising page has been organised for donations. See Go Fund Me, RIP Maisie.
• Her funeral will be held at the West Herts Crematorium in Garston on September 23, at 12pm, followed by a wake at London Road Club, which all are welcome to attend from 1.30pm. Flowers or donations can be given to Phillips Funeral Services, Alma Road, St Albans.