Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to Northern Ireland meningitis victim Jade Smith

By Brett Campbell

A minister has said there is "a shadow hanging over Carryduff" after a young woman died suddenly in hospital.

Jade (Danielle) Smith complained of feeling unwell on Monday afternoon before being rushed to hospital later that evening, where her health deteriorated rapidly.

The 22-year-old died early on Tuesday morning.

It is suspected she had contracted meningococcal disease.

Her funeral will take place at St Ignatius Parish Church in Carryduff today.

Rev Stephen Lowry, Rector of St Ignatius, spoke of the grief in the young woman's home town.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "There's a shadow hanging over Carryduff today as we come to terms with the death of a wonderful daughter and good friend to many in our community.

"Jade Smith was a young woman who loved life and enriched the lives of everyone around her with her fun and colour."

The former nail technician student at Belfast Metropolitan College had been working as a sales assistant in Primark.

She had previously worked as a promoter for Thompson's Garage nightclub.

Rev Lowry paid tribute to the popular former pupil of Saintfield High School, saying: "She was blessed with a bright nature and a warm, friendly approach to people and she took delight in her many friends.

"Some of her friends have described her as 'the best', and the staff at Carryduff Primary School and Saintfield High School have expressed their sorrow at her family's loss."

Ms Smith's funeral service will take place at 12.30pm at the church where she was once a regular as a member of the Rainbow Guides.

More recently she offered her nail-painting skills to Killynure Community Association, a group that meets in the church hall.

Her remains will then be taken to Knockbreda Cemetery where she will be laid to rest.

Rev Lowry added: "It is our privilege at Carryduff Parish to offer our support as a church family to Jade's parents - Richard and Kelly - and siblings Jordan and Megan as they come to us for her funeral on Friday.

"We expect the church to be filled with her friends."

The family have requested that those attending the service wear colourful attire and that, if desired, donations should be made to Meningitis Research Foundation, care of Norman McBriar & Son Funeral Directors in Saintfield.

Meningitis and septicaemia can kill in hours.

Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis, septicaemia or both.

Most people who get the disease have some symptoms of both meningococcal meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia; together these two forms of the disease are known as meningococcal disease.

Septicaemia is the more life-threatening form of the disease, and is more dangerous when there are no signs of meningitis.

Belfast Telegraph

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