Cheltenham schoolgirl Abi Owen still helping others - even in death
EVEN after her death, young Abi Owen is continuing to have an effect on other people's lives.
Family and friends have been in mourning since the 12-year-old Cleeve School pupil died on Sunday after a brain haemorrhage.
But moments after her life support machine was switched off, doctors were able to use her organs to potentially save the lives of four other children.
And a fund set up in her memory to raise cash for Bristol Children's Hospital, where she died, has already exceeded expectations.
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Within three days of her death, 140 grief-stricken family and friends had already helped to raise more than £2,600, which will go towards saving other sick children.
Abi's family, from Bishop's Cleeve, had been struggling to cope with her death. The haemorrhage came suddenly, last Wednesday night, and until that point there had been no signs there was any problem.
However, mum Kelly Owen said Abi always liked to put those around her before herself – so would be pleased that even in death she was able to help others.
"Abigail was and always will be a shining star, and a very giving child," she said.
"At her death, she donated her organs to help save the lives of four other children.
"That's an amazing achievement in itself that we know she would think was very cool. She was always thinking of other people's wellbeing.
"To think that part of her spirit can live on in other children is a wonderful thought and I know she would be pleased."
Kelly and Mark, Abi's dad, said she was a lively, cheerful child and a protective older sister to her two siblings Jennifer, 10, and Joe, five.
Since her death dozens of moving tributes have been posted on Facebook and flowers have been left outside the school gates.
Kelly added that after witnessing first-hand the work done at Bristol Children's Hospital, there was only one cause they wanted to support in Abi's memory.
She said: "We know that she would love to raise money for charity and having seen the value of the work done at the Bristol Children's Hospital, we know that this is the right cause.
"The funds raised by the Wallace and Gromit Appeal directly funds the equipment in the intensive care unit, which Abigail needed.
"While it didn't save her life, despite every effort and care by the amazing team of nurses, doctors and consultants, it gave us a few precious days to sit with her and tell her how much we love her.
"The Justgiving page will be for all donations, no matter how small. Please don't feel obliged but we know many people will want to do something for her. If you'd rather buy flowers, please do, but while flowers fade and die, the work of this hospital continues.
"We hope never to need their help again or know anyone who does, but we are so thankful for what they do every single day."
â To make a donation in Abi's memory go to www.justgiving.com/kelly-owen