Parents pay tribute following death of seemingly healthy 13-year-old daughter (From The Northern Echo)
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Stockton parents pay tribute to seemingly healthy 13-year-old daughter
THE PARENTS of a seemingly healthy 13-year-old girl who died suddenly spoke movingly of her “lovely, happy” spirit, following her inquest today (Wednesday, August 28).
Demi Sharif’s father, Naeem, found his daughter collapsed in the bathroom of their Stockton home shortly before 3am, Teesside Coroners Court heard.
Her mother, Vicky Porritt, tried CPR and paramedics took over minutes later, but the inquest heard there was no sign of life.
A post-mortem carried out by pathologist Jennifer Bolton and a specialist examination of her heart both failed to find anything wrong.
However, Dr Bolton said Demi’s death was most likely explained by heart failure.
"It’s similar to cot death but we just don’t know what causes it,” she said.
In a statement read out at the inquest, Demi’s mother said she had gone to bed with her daughter at about midnight on Thursday, January 20, 2011 in their Camden Street home.
Later at about 3am she was awoken by her partner of 15 years, Naeem Sharif, who was shouting from the bathroom where Demi had collapsed.
Assistant coroner Claire Bailey recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.
Earlier, the inquest heard that Demi, a pupil at Our Lady and St Bede’s RC School, had many friends and no health problems.
Speaking afterwards, Ms Porritt, 32, a care worker, who had been in tears throughout the inquest, said: “She was a lovely, happy, well-liked girl.
"She just wanted to be with her family and friends, that’s what she was all about. It’s like it’s only just beginning to sink in now.”
Mr Sharif, 44, added that the family was lost without her.
Demi, a former pupil of St Cuthbert’s Primary School, lived with her younger sister, Bethany, and had ordered a card online for Bethany which arrived two days after her death.
It read: ‘Demi and Bethany, sisters forever.’”
She also leaves brothers Ben, Lewis and Cameron and sisters Chloe and Jade.
Hundreds attended her funeral and more than 400 teenagers gathered to release balloons in her memory.
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