Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid at funeral to 'incredible and precious' young woman

By Claire Williamson

A Northern Ireland tourist who died while on holiday in Croatia has been remembered as "an incredible, precious young woman" who could "make you laugh in an instant".

Sarah Lee-Anne Reid (20), from Ballynahinch, died suddenly on May 26 in the busy tourist resort of Hvar, a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea.

She leaves behind her parents Bill and Anne, and siblings Petra, Christy and Douglas.

It is not clear how the Co Down woman died, and the thanksgiving service for her life, on Saturday at Edengrove Presbyterian Church in Ballynahinch, heard that the post-mortem results had been inconclusive.

Sarah Lee-Anne was a valued member of the church family and had travelled to Romania with a mission team in both 2012 and 2014.

On Saturday, in a little village called Kizzanto in Romania, bells were rung in memory of the young woman.

Rev Scott Woodburn said: "Whilst we cannot be sure about her death, we can be certain about her life, that in her 20 years we had the privilege to know and love a beautiful young girl."

He began his tribute to her saying: "Normally in tributes I tell the congregation of career and family. I am heartbroken today as I stand before you. Lee-Anne's life has been so tragically cut short."

Mourners heard that Sarah had suffered health problems for quite some time, and had lost a "tremendous amount of weight a few years ago". But she had looked "much better" in recent months.

Last year she had gone to Coventry to study dietetics in a bid to "help those who, like her, struggled with ill health".

Rev Woodburn added: "As seen by her desire to study in Coventry, Sarah was an incredibly caring and generous individual. She would often clear out Anne's cupboards and give whatever she could to the Ballynahinch food bank."

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