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Girl dies after asthma attack

By Ciaran Murphy

Tributes were last night paid to a teenage girl who died en route to hospital early on Sunday.

Friends of Patricia Smith (14), of Belmont Heights in Ferrybank, Waterford, became "anxious" when she was overcome by an apparent asthma attack early Sunday morning, according to gardai.

Police were first alerted at 3.50am that Ms Smith was feeling unwell, while a taxi arrived to take the youth to Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH) and an improvement in her condition was noticed by her friends.

However, Ms Smith's condition worsened and the resuscitation efforts of the taxi driver and then ambulance crew were ultimately unsuccessful. Ms Smith was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

A post-mortem was carried out at WRH on Sunday and while the results have not been released, it is understood that the teenager suffered a cardiac.

Just hours earlier, the out-going girl was enjoying pizza with her friends Emma and Kelly Dunphy, also of Belmont Heights.

Gardai in Ferrybank interviewed all those present at the house on Saturday night, part of routine inquiries when investigating a "sudden death" , a spokesperson said.

The girl's parents, Martin and Geraldine Smith, were last night being comforted by their only remaining child, Claire.

More than 30 boys and girls from the Abbey Community College in Ferrybank arrived at the school for counselling on Tuesday night with the school Chaplain and Counsellor.

Meanwhile a similar service was provided by youth organisation, An Foroige in Ferrybank on Monday last.

Pupils at the school are still mourning the loss of Nicole O'Brien, who drowned one month ago.

Abbey Community College Principal Tommy Lanigan in local paper, the Waterford News & Star, yesterday described Trisha as a "very, very pleasant, bubbly and bright young girl".

"She was a bit of a character and very cheerful and like all youngsters at her stage in life she was a very good contributor in the school," said Mr Lanigan.

Ms Smith's Bebo page has been inundated with messages since she died.

"RIP Trisha...u'll be missed x.x.x.x.x.x.x.", wrote Melissa Stacey. Another pal, Cathy, said: "Missed by every1; loved by all xXx."

"God truly takes the best, prettiest and soundest people xXx," according to another heart wrenching comment.

Kelly Dunphy, who was with Trisha when she became unwell, wrote: "Well Nell, u wil be missed, we miss u loads hun, cnt sleep or nothin hun. U wil always be remembered...we love u hun. Xxx RIP. Nell, ur in a better place nw hun, with martin an other relations. Lv u nell. Xxxxxxx

"Hello there trisha hunni...jus said id drop * say well...R.I.P hunni, never be forgotten," added devastated pal, Aisling Coady.

Ms Smith's remains were removed to the Church of the Sacred Heart in Ferrybank last night, while she will be laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery tomorrow, following Requiem mass to be held at noon.

Belfast Telegraph


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