A ‘bubbly’ 12-year-old girl died suddenly as she was playing in the park with her brother, sister and two cousins.
Phoebe Smith, 12, from Croxteth, was playing on the swings in Calderstones Park with her older brother, 13, younger sister, nine, and two cousins on Saturday, March 5, as their parents sat on the grass nearby. Phoebe’s mum, auntie and uncle first realised something was wrong when the kids came over and told them the 12-year-old was lying on the ground.
The family went over to the swings and found Phoebe unconscious lying on the ground. They immediately called 999 and the North West Ambulance Service arrived at the scene.
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Phoebe’s auntie, Victoria Davies, 28, told The ECHO : “We went out to the park and must have only been there for half an hour. The kids were in the playground for no longer than 20 minutes and we were sat on the grass.
“The kids came over and said ‘Phoebe is lying on the floor’ and at first we didn’t think anything of it and was asked ‘oh, why is she on the floor’. We went over right away and realised this was more serious, Phoebe was passed out of the floor unconscious.
“We called 999 and they came really quickly. The staff at Calderstones Park were absolutely amazing.”
Phoebe was rushed to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and a CT scan found she had a brain aneurysm, which had burst. The 12-year-old was rushed in for brain surgery.
Victoria said: “For the first surgery she was in for four and a half to five hours to try and remove it [the aneurysm], literally two hours later she was taken back in for another hour surgery. She really fought, she gave a good fight but we got a call from the hospital at 5.45am on Wednesday [March 9] and were told to expect the worst.
“Because everything happened in front of the kids we couldn’t hide it, we couldn’t let the children not say goodbye to her. We went to get them all after school and at 4.30pm they said their goodbyes.”
Phoebe was described as an “amazing child” and “one of them kids you don’t forget”
Phoebe’s family were told she had a heart murmur when she was younger, but this was never an issue. The family said her death came as a complete shock.
She said: “She sadly couldn’t take anymore and she gained her angel wings. We as a family are all heartbroken, it is extremely hard. It’s hard because there’s nobody to blame, she didn’t bump her head and it just came from nowhere and was shocking.”
Victoria described Phoebe as an “amazing child” and said she was “one of them kids you don’t forget”.
She told The ECHO : “Phoebe was an amazing child, she was 12 and autistic and had an amazingly bubbly personality. She was one of them kids you don’t forget, she would walk into a room and just light it up completely.
“She was mischievous but in a comedic way, she was always laughing and making everyone else laugh.”
The family has now set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for Phoebe’s funeral. Since being created on March 15, the family have raised almost £600 from 29 donations.
Victoria said: “We ask for your help to give Phoebe the send off she deserves. As you all know things nowadays aren’t cheap and even though we are all supporting each other we cannot pull money out of thin air.
“Any donations will go directly to Phoebe’s mum to help with flowers and send off but any remaining donations will go towards helping her immediate family recover after this heartbreaking situation.”
To donate to Phoebe’s GoFundMe click here.