Tributes to 'full of smiles' Claire

TRIBUTES to a lovely young woman who was full of smiles, always laughing and cared for others were paid to Claire Kennedy, who died aged 19 from meningitis. The parents of the St Ives teenager, who died after a very sudden onset of the condition with few

TRIBUTES to a lovely young woman who was full of smiles, always laughing and cared for others were paid to Claire Kennedy, who died aged 19 from meningitis.

The parents of the St Ives teenager, who died after a very sudden onset of the condition with few symptoms, said she put her heart into everything she did and she cared about other people.

Her mother, Ceri Kennedy, 47, said: "She loved going out and having fun and looking out for her friends. She would come home and tell us all the stories."

On March 26, Claire had said she felt ill and had been sick in the night, but there was no tell-tale rash or high temperature and nothing to indicate that she had suddenly developed meningitis.


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In the morning, Claire complained of a stiff neck and of having trouble with her sight and an ambulance was called.

Claire was given antibiotics immediately and then taken to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge but died a few hours later.

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Her father, John, said: "It was the worst day of our lives."

Claire, who was studying childcare at Huntingdonshire Regional College, was a former pupil at St Ivo School, where her brother Adam, 17 is in the sixth form.

In 2005 Mr Kennedy, who works for Waitrose in St Ives, had a sixth-month sabbatical and the whole family travelled to Australia for five weeks.

Mr Kennedy, 46, a member of the Centre Theatre Players, said: "Claire loved life. She lived it to the full."

Like her father, Claire loved acting and singing and had appeared at The Burgess Hall in St Ives in several productions by Stageworks. She achieved high grades in her college course and in their spare time, she and her brother worked at Waitrose with their father.

Claire already had a qualification in leisure and tourism. For her current course, she had carried out work experience at Thorndown Primary School and was thinking about a career in primary school teaching or possibly taking a degree in midwifery.

Mrs Kennedy added: "She loved people and she got on well working with small children and she was doing well at college."

Claire, a former member of the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets, had flown a plane and she also helped out with the sixth and seventh St Ives Brownies, where Mrs Kennedy is a Brown Owl.

Some 350 people attended Claire's funeral, on April 8 at All Saints Church, in St Ives where the family are members. Mourners included her boyfriend, Jake Green, a fellow student at Huntingdonshire Regional College. Donations were made to the Meningitis Trust.

Mr and Mrs Kennedy and Adam said: "We would like to thank all our family, friends and neighbours, other members of the church and Claire's friends for all the support they have given us and continue to give us. We really appreciate the kindness everyone has shown us during this very difficult and traumatic time. God bless our beautiful Claire."

Caption: Claire Kennedy.

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