Belfast Telegraph

Death of 'gentle, kind' pupil Isobel Anderson (10) stuns Northern Ireland school community

By Allan Preston

A school community in Co Down is in mourning following the sudden death of a "kind, caring and gentle" P7 pupil, Isobel Anderson.

The Dromore Central Primary School student, who was 10-years-old, collapsed in school on Tuesday. Last night, her devastated family were being comforted by relatives and friends.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service responded to a call at the school at 1.41pm, but despite efforts to revive her by staff and paramedics, she was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, where she passed away on Wednesday night.

School principal Linda Allen said her shocking death had caused "profound sadness" throughout the school and community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Isobel's mum and dad, her three sisters who are also pupils at Dromore Central, and the extended family circle," Mrs Allen said.

"Isobel's wide circle of friends and classmates are heartbroken by her untimely loss and are being supported at this time by staff and relevant professionals. Isobel was a quiet but very popular pupil who always had a smile on her face and was recently described by her class teacher as a 'breath of fresh air'. She was a kind, caring and gentle child, who will be very much missed in school by fellow pupils and staff alike. She will be remembered with great love."

DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the entire community of Dromore had been "plunged into a deep sense of shock and sadness at the tragic circumstances of Isobel's death".

"I want to extend my sympathy to the Anderson family circle at this sad time. During times like these, the close-knit community of Dromore will draw closer together as they remember Isobel and her family in their prayers," he said.

The Parent Teacher Association for St Mary's Primary in Banbridge were among many others showing their support.

"We would like to send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the whole community of Dromore Central Primary School," the message posted on social media read. "This is a tragedy beyond words and comprehension - we will pray for your strength and unity at this time."

The Parent, Teacher and Friends Association from Lisburn's St Aloysius' Primary School commented: "We will be particularly praying for the family and friends of Isobel Anderson following the news of her untimely passing. God bless you all in these tragic times."

Isobel will be laid to rest on Sunday following a funeral service at Dromore Cathedral.

She is survived by her parents Tom and Heidi and her three younger sisters.

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