A COMMUNITY is rallying together to bring home the body of a 17-year-old girl who died while on holiday in Spain.

Molly Patterson, from Sherburn Hill, near Durham, was on a family holiday in Alcudia, in Majorca, when she fell ill.

It is understood the teenager, who was previously known as Molly Bower, had mumps and died on Friday due to complications from the illness.

Over the weekend, hundreds of people made donations to help bring her home.

Friends of the teenager, who was a former pupil of Belmont Community School, have left messages paying tribute to a “beautiful girl” and “lovely person”.

The £5,000 target was reached within hours of her family making a heart breaking appeal to try and raise enough to bring her body back to the UK.

Aunt Dominique Bower, who is still in Spain, said: “To bring our baby girl home it’s going to cost us £5,000. I’m asking for a small donation or anything that you can to do help. Please, please, please get my beautiful baby home.”

The Northern Echo:

An online fundraiser to bring Molly home had raised more than £8,500 last night

After the target was reached within three hours, she added: “Thank you so much for reaching the target.

“Please keep sharing and donating anything else that will help to give my girl the best send-off she deserves.”

Paying tribute to Molly, Emma French wrote: “This is such heartbreaking news. Molly was a lovely girl with a huge heart and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to know her and see her grow into the young lady she was.

“Let’s get her home and give her the send off she deserves.”

Tamzin Burnham added: “You were a fabulous friend and I will cherish our memories. I’m heartbroken.”

Last night, more than £8,500 had been raised.

A spokesperson for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said: "Our staff are supporting the family of a British child following her death in Spain, and are in contact with the Spanish authorities.

"Our sympathies are with the family at this difficult time."

To donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/jearzr-bring-molly-home