Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Amazing Grace Remembered in Ceremony; BALLOONS TO MARK HER LIFE RELEASED AT MOVING FUNERAL

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Amazing Grace Remembered in Ceremony; BALLOONS TO MARK HER LIFE RELEASED AT MOVING FUNERAL

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON

TWENTY-EIGHT pink balloons were released into the sky, each one representing every week she grasped on to life.

Amazing Grace Vincent was a medical sensation whose story is being talked about across the world.

Her funeral was held yesterday and her family released the balloons from the Whitley Bay memorial garden with her life story and her tiny hand print attached.

Little Grace earned her nickname after she was struck down with a rare form of meningitis called Group B Strep and rushed to hospital at just six-weeksold.

After four days watching their precious daughter struggle in intensive care, her tearful parents took the agonising decision to switch off the equipment keeping her alive. But, freed from the tubes, "Amazing Grace" stunned her parents and medics by beginning to breathe on her own.

Parents Emily Ashurst and Pete Vincent, both 26, were ecstatic after her miracle recovery, although they knew she could still suffer lasting damage.

But on Sunday the little fighter, who melted the heart of the North East, could take no more and died in hospital. Yesterday, her tiny coffin was carried into Whitley Bay Crematorium and her favourite toys hugged her inside.

Music from French composer Achille-Claude Debussy was played while the congregation united in grief to sing the hymn, Amazing Grace.

Today her grieving mum Emily, of Holystone, North Tyneside, who has another daughter Megan, six, said: "It's an emotional day but the balloons mean that Grace's memory will live on. We hope they will travel far and wide so Grace's story can be passed on."

A tag has been attached to each of the balloons which reads: "This balloon was released on Friday, October 23, 2009, in memory of Grace Leigh Vincent who sadly passed away on Sunday, October 18, 2009, at the age of just six-monthsold. …

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