Sheffield’s Gabrielle was the light of our lives

Gabi smith, who died  aged 12, on March 16 2013, with her mum Faye and borther Zach, 16.
Gabi smith, who died aged 12, on March 16 2013, with her mum Faye and borther Zach, 16.
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GABRIELLE Smith, the 12-year-old who died in her morning bath, had previously suffered a seizure but been given the all-clear.

It happened last May and the little girl was rushed unconscious to hospital.

“She was released the following day, declared fit, and asked to come back for a check-up if there were no further episodes,” said her mum Faye Smith.

“There had not been another fit, and at that check-up appointment three weeks ago she was given the full all-clear by a neurologist. It’s just tragic.”

Gabi, who is believed to have fallen unconscious in her bath on Saturday, is mourned by her mum Faye, brother Zach, 16, grandparents Gordon and Moira Ramsay, and many friends.

In a moving tribute to her daughter, her grieving mother spoke to every parent’s heart.

“She was the light of our lives, beautiful inside and out,” said Faye, a marketing consultant known throughout Sheffield for her support of charities and small businesses.

“She was a bright, cheerful, vivacious, fun-loving girl who loved shopping, adventures, swimming and spending time with her friends and family.

“She loved every single Jacqueline Wilson and Horrible History book, and at school she loved history and science.

“On a recent trip with school, she had written down her dream of becoming a doctor at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. We cannot thank that hospital enough for trying so hard to bring her back to us, and for the caring attitude of its family liaison worker.”

Gabi died just days after the second anniversary of the death of her father.

Faye said: “In our grief we are comforted by our Christian faith. We believe she has been reunited in heaven with her father and her heavenly father, and that Gabi will be enjoying the eternal party she loved here on earth so much.”

Brother Zach, a Year 11 pupil at Birkdale School, said of his sister: “I love Gabi so much and my life will never be the same without her happiness and kindness. I can’t wait to see her again.”

Zach is currently taking his GCSEs and, courageously, is to perform this week as ‘Peter’ in the musical The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Ecclesall All Saints Church.

“We also appreciate more than we can say our church families at both St Thomas Philadelphia and All Saints,” said Faye. “They have surrounded us with love and care and kept vigil with us.”

St Thomas Philadelphia Church leader Nick Allan said: “We will miss Gabi’s beautiful face and sensitive demeanour, her friendship and her faith.

“The death of a young child is one of the greatest of tragedies that can befall any family. Our hearts go out to the whole family and her many friends.”

Tributes also poured in at Notre Dame, the secondary school Gabi joined in September.

Headteacher Jane Willis described Gabi as ‘a valued and loved member of our school community, a lively and friendly academically-bright student who was a true all-rounder’.

“She was thoughtful and generous and will be missed by everyone in school,” she added.

An inquest into Gabi’s death will open today.

A funeral will be held at All Saints Church, Ecclesall Road South, on Maundy Thursday, March 28, at 2pm.