A TINY pink coffin for a five-year-old girl who tragically died from Strep A was driven through the streets today ahead of her funeral.
Several mourners wore rainbow coloured ties as they said farewell to the young girl.
Floral tributes – including ones shaped as an angel and a teddy bear – were placed outside her grandma’s home in the north of the city ahead of the funeral on Wednesday afternoon.
More than one hundred people stood outside the terraced house as Stella-Lily’s pink coffin painted with rainbows and stars was taken outside.
The song Shake it Off by Taylor Swift was played before balloons of different colours were released into the sky.
The coffin was then placed into a horse drawn carriage which led a cortege on a slow walk to the nearby Shankill Road.
From there, mourners travelled on to Roselawn crematorium in the east of the city.
Stella-Lily, a pupil at Black Mountain Primary School, died last week from an illness linked to the Strep A bacterial infection.
The school described her death as a “tragic loss”.
“Stella-Lily was a very bright and talented little girl, and very popular with both staff and children, and will be greatly missed by everyone at school,” the school said.
Stella-Lily’s heartbroken dad said he took her to A&E three times before she became critically ill and later died.
Robert McCorkindale said his daughter started feeling ill on the weekend of November 26 with a cold and temperature.
The parent said a lack of understanding of Strep A symptoms among hospital staff on his first visit led to delays in carrying out the right tests on Stella-Lily.
Mr McCorkindale says he was made to feel like an “overbearing father” and his daughter was given Lucozade to replenish her electrolytes before they travelled home.
She was taken to hospital by her mum the next day, where she was helped with her hydration but allowed to return home.
But by November 30, Stella-Lily’s condition had severely deteriorated and she was again rushed to hospital.
Doctors ordered tests, fearing the youngster had sepsis, and results came back positive for Strep A.
The devastated dad said once his daughter was admitted, caring staff went “above and beyond” to help her.
But the infection had spread around the girl’s body and doctors were considering the amputation of her legs.
And by the Monday, Stella-Lily was too unwell from the infection and her life-support was turned off.
Robert took to social media to thank people for their thoughts and prayers after the youngster died in hospital.
“I want to thank everyone of you from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
“If prayers, thoughts, feelings and love could of worked she would of walked out of that hospital holding her daddy’s hand.”
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family.
The deaths of 16 children with Strep A have been confirmed in the UK in recent months.
As cases of scarlet fever and Strep A sweep across the UK, several primary schools have made the decision to close.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the last time there was an intensive period of Strep A infection was in 2017-18 when four deaths were recorded in England in the equivalent time frame.
He said any parents who are concerned should contact the NHS.
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