TRIBUTES have been paid to a budding dancer and singer who died suddenly.
Emily Hood, aged nine, from Heysham, sadly passed away from a congenital bowel disorder.
Her parents Andy and Vicki paid tribute to her.
Vicki said: “Emily was a very special little girl who lived life to the full.
“She was also a very mature little girl and very caring.
“Her talents, dedication and enjoyment, made her a budding musician and singer, and an amazing little dancer and athlete.
“Emily attended the Lamata dance school and was taught by Aveine Grey. She did everything from ballet to modern, tap and acro.
“She attended all the festivals and summer school at Lancaster and Morecambe College, where she had won a scholarship for next year. She liked singing and did drama. She was a very good runner and at the school district championships, she broke the record for a 60 metre run.
“Everything she put her mind to she did it and did it well.
“She was a star. The funeral was a very difficult day but we tried to make it a celebration of her life.
“My husband and I paid tribute to her.
“The church was full to bursting and we played a video of singing Miley Cyrus ‘The Climb’.
“Two other children sang two of her favourite songs, ‘Sing’ and ‘Musical Memories.’ She would have been overwhelmed at the amount of people there.
“The family let off balloons for her and we have created memory books for her.
“A lot of people are doing tributes for her including her dance teacher who is organising a bench in her memory.
“She has touched so many people in such a short time - you only need to meet her once and you would remember her.
“She had a beautiful smile and and she was beautiful outside and in.
“She will stay in our family and our hearts forever. But we will miss her so much.”
St Peter’s C of E Primary School in Heysham, where Emily was a pupil, was closed all day on Monday to allow staff and children to attend her funeral, which was held at St Peter’s Church, Heysham.
Dave McPartlin, headteacher at Heysham St Peter’s, said: “We were all extremely shocked and upset to hear about Emily’s death at half-term. She will be very sadly missed by her fellow pupils and school staff.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Emily’s family at this incredibly sad time.”
Vicki said: “I just want to say a special thank you to the RLI, Emily’s headmaster and to all our family and friends.”
Emily’s family including her brother Josh, 11 and sister Lucy, six, have set up ‘Emily’s Starlite’ in her memory to raise as much money as possible for lifesaving equipment for the A and E department at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary. They also want to donate money to the dancing school and her primary school.
Donations should be made via The Co-operative Funeralcare in Lancaster on 01524 64650.