Sunday 25 March 2018

'Words can't express the shock, grief and loss' - girl (6) who died from meningitis laid to rest

Kayla Casey (inset) was laid to rest today
Kayla Casey (inset) was laid to rest today
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The young Co Meath schoolgirl who died from meningitis last week has been remembered at her funeral as a child who loved to hear a good story.

Kayla Carey (6) was laid to rest today after her heartbroken family gathered in St Mary’s Church in Navan to say their final goodbyes to her.

Her white coffin was carried into the church while Somewhere Over the Rainbow was sang by a soloist.

Kayla passed away last Thursday after battling the infection that has also hit her young cousin Jasmine.

“Kayla, like all children, loved hearing good stories, and for Kayla if it involved a unicorn it would probably be a great story,” said Fr Kevin Heery.

He told how Kayla’s senior infants class teacher in Scoil Mhuire, Ms Murray, loves to tell the children a story as part of their routine.

Kayla Carey
Kayla Carey

“Words can't express the shock, grief and loss of why we are gathered here today. The sudden passing of Kayla last Thursday has shocked our community,” said Fr Heery, adding that in numbness and pain the community prayed that Kayla’s family’s hearts could be blessed with peace.

A prayer was also said for young Jasmine who is still being treated for meningitis in Temple Street hospital in Dublin, the same hospital where Kayla died.

The two children attended the same school together.

All students and staff were sent home as a precaution, and psychologists from National Educational Psychological Service were brought in to provide support to teachers and parents.

Symbols brought to the altar to represent Kayla’s life included one of her colourful drawings, a toy unicorn, and her boots.

After funeral mass Kayla’s dad Martin helped carry her coffin to the hearse, and leaned in to kiss it before breaking down in tears and being consoled by family and friends.

Burial took place in St. Finian's Cemetery, Old Athboy Road, Navan.

Shortly after Kayla’s death her mother Geraldine posted a message on Facebook.

"My little princess didn't make it. RIP Kayla, Mammy loves you and can't believe this," she said.

Kayla is also mourned by her brother Brooklyn and sister Faith, grandparents, aunts, uncles and extended relatives.

The HSE has said that its medical experts are working closely with the school and are advising and supporting parents, guardians and teachers.

The school’s principal Colm Devlin said Kayla’s death will affect the entire community.

“This is a terrible tragedy for her family, our school and the whole community. We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with Kayla’s family and friends,” he said.

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