The father of a Dromore schoolgirl who died suddenly last week has thanked school staff and paramedics who tried to save his daughter’s life.
Ten-year-old Isobel Anderson collapsed at Dromore Central Primary School last Tuesday.
Following initial on-site efforts by staff and paramedics to resuscitate her, she was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
Despite the best efforts of medical staff, she sadly passed away late on Wednesday night.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at Dromore Cathedral on Sunday afternoon for the popular P7 pupil’s funeral, where they heard her father, Tom, praise those who’d tried to save her.
“I want to single out our extreme gratitude to the staff that worked with wee Isobel in the playground that awful afternoon, the paramedics who came and got her as quickly as they could, and the doctors and nurses at the Royal Victoria Hospital,” Mr Anderson said.
“That care from the start and the remarkable fight that my wee Isobel put up gave us an opportunity which I am so grateful for, the opportunity to say goodbye to Isobel.”
In a moving tribute to his eldest daughter, Mr Anderson said she had been “full of fun, mischief and love”.
Describing Isobel as “a wee mother hen” to her three sisters - Mary, Tess and Kate - Mr Anderson said she had brought great joy to the family
“She had a smile that could light up a room on the darkest of days, and she’s lighting up Dromore this afternoon,” he added.
Mr Anderson said the tributes paid to Isobel by her teachers and friends had been a great comfort to him and his wife, Heidi.
He urged parents, grandparents and children to share an extra hug at night, and told the young pupils present to “live life to the full”.
Ahead of the service, led by Rev Geoff Wilson, tributes were paid to Isobel by the principal of Dromore Central Primary School, Linda Allen.
“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,” Mrs Allen said.
“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.”