The loss of a child is too awful to contemplate and the reality too painful to bear.
The parents, relatives and friends of eight-year-old Charlotte Wright are finding it hard to come to terms with her death.
They had no warning, no illness, no hereditary disease – nothing to make them think that their Charlotte was anything but a healthy, happy fun-loving little girl.
She died suddenly and tragically while on an organised school trip.
How could it happen? How could a beautiful child so full of life and love go on an adventure weekend with her friends, and simply die?
An inquest yet to be held may provide the answer.
Meanwhile, Charlotte’s mother Karen Williams, has written exclusively for this newspaper expressing some of her feelings and her thanks for those who tried to help Charlotte and who have comforted her family since the tragedy.
Charlotte’s mother Karen Williams writes:
“On May 5 2002 Sheppey went into mourning over the tragic loss of one of its children, Charlotte Marie Wright.
“We, Charlotte’s family, wish to express our deepest, sincere gratitude at a time which must be every parent’s worst nightmare, for the kindness and understanding we are still receiving from our dear, dear family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
“For the medical staff that fought so hard to save her; to the chaplain who sat and talked to her when all else had failed her; the Coroner’s office and Surrey CID who are leaving no stone unturned; the staff, pupils and their families of Halfway Houses Primary School that she attended and loved.
“The British Admiral public house where she captivated everyone and loved to dance to her favourite songs; The Blacksmiths Arms who refused to forget her; the swimming club and football club that she enchanted; a sombre Canon who did a difficult job so very well; a funeral director who made sure that nothing was too much trouble for him; the florists who worked so hard to deliver the beautiful tributes and many, many more.
“We’ll always look back, as we walk away,
This memory will last for eternity
And all of our tears will be lost in the rain,
When we find our way back to your arms again,
But, until that day you know you are
The Queen of our hearts.
Our perfect daughter Charlotte, we love you very much, you’re special and we’re so very proud of you. Goodnight darling. We love you more.”
CRY HELPS COMING TO TERMS WITH LOSS
Since the tragic death of their daughter, Christopher Wright and Karen Williams have been desperately searching for reasons.
“Why?” is the unanswered questions going round and round in their heads.
They have found some consolation in the little known charity organisation Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
They are not alone in their grief. Every week up to eight apparently fit and healthy young people under the age of 25 die of undiagnosed heart conditions in the UK.
Medical evidence suggests that Charlotte Wright, aged eight, may have died from such a heart problem during an activity weekend with her school.
CRY, which is based in Tadworth, Surrey, has among its patrons Ian Botham, Sir Steve Redgrave, Professor William McKenna and Nick Gillingham.
Karen said: “The conditions are best described as adult cot death – there are no apparent reasons. Neither Chris nor I have any history of heart conditions within the family, but sadly it has to start somewhere.
“I will be tested to see if I’m a carrier of the rogue gene. I have to because I have two young nieces.
“The statistics are alarming and I am in favour of cardiac screening – anything to raise awareness of what is a hidden killer.”