THE funeral of a little girl who collapsed after opening her presents on Christmas Day is being held tomorrow. (Wednesday, January 15)
Six-year-old Amy Bartell died a week later and is being laid to rest wearing Tinkerbell wings, after her favourite Disney character.
Her father, Paul Bartell, 43, a taxi driver, from Stanley, County Durham, said: “She had a heart of gold and everyone will wear something pink at her funeral because that was her favourite colour.
“She will be wearing her Tinkerbell outfit, her wings and shoes, and will be pulled by a carriage and white horses with pink plumes. It would have been what she wanted.”
The youngster had been dancing at a party at Beamish Primary School on the Friday before Christmas.
But over the weekend she became ill and by Sunday December 22, she was having difficulty breathing.
Her parents took her to the University Hospital of North Durham and she was given antibiotics for what seemed to be a blockage in her left lung and sent home.
On Christmas morning, after opening her presents, she collapsed on the kitchen floor.
Mr Bartell said Amy went blue and stopped breathing after she collapsed at about 9.30am.
He gave her mouth-to-mouth before paramedics arrived and tried to resuscitate her before she was rushed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
Mr Bartell said: “The paramedics took over and her heart gave out in the ambulance.
"It was 33 minutes before we got her back. The ambulance guy massaged her heart the whole time and he never gave up. It took them four hours to stabilize her blood pressure.”
Tests revealed swollen airwaves and a chest infection and Amy was put on a ventilator and into an induced coma.
On Monday December 30, Amy became non-responsive and after consultation with doctors her family made the heart-breaking decision to switch off the life-support machine at 2.30pm on New Year’s Day.
Her mother, Emma, 35, also has two daughters Casey, 15, Chloe, 10, as well as a son, Matthew, who is one-and-a-half.
She said: “Amy didn’t even have time to play with all her toys. She had taken them out of their wrapping paper but most are still boxed. She got everything she asked for.
“The coroner is carrying out an investigation. We hope we get answers so this won’t happen to any other little one.”