KATY Holmes may only have lived a short life, but she has touched the hearts of thousands of people all over the world.
The overwhelming outpouring of love and support that has flooded websites since Katy’s death in the early hours of yesterday has given her family a lot of strength during a very difficult time.
Almost 6,000 people have joined her online tribute page and nearly 600 left words of support following her death.
Katy’s mum Paula says: “I really want to stress my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has been following Katy’s story and fund-raising for her.
“Words cannot express how much all the support has meant to me and Dave and the rest of the family.
“I also want to say a special mention to the Lancashire Evening Post and to Rock FM for the amazing support they have given us through Katy’s fight. We are so grateful.”
Katy’s aunt Kelly-Marie Deem, says: “We are all absolutely devastated. Our world as we know it has been shattered.
“Even though we knew her death was coming, we are still in shock and feel numb.
“Katy was a pure angel and her legacy speaks for itself.”
Pupils and teachers at Katy’s school are all heartbroken at news of her death. Katy visited the school only last Thursday when she was thrilled to be reunited with her classmates.
Diane Gallagher, headteacher at St Mary Magdalen Catholic Primary School in Penwortham, says: “Our thoughts, love and prayers are with Katy’s wonderful family at this time.
“Everything you have read about Katy is true; she was an amazing girl with great courage and a deep faith.
“Katy always put other people before herself and was an extremely popular pupil.
“She was a super choice for head girl as she set such a wonderful example of kindness, good manners and happiness to the other pupils.
“We have missed her greatly at school since she has been ill but she has never been far from our minds.
“Our school community has rallied wonderfully to provide funds to make Katy’s wishes come true and we are so sorry that many were not possible because the illness took her so quickly.
“We are proud that we can say that Katy Holmes was a pupil at St Mary Magdalen’s and feel privileged to have shared her tragically short but extremely special life.”
Preston North End players Paul Coutts, Iain Hume, Clarke Carlisle and Neil Mellor visited Katy at Derian House Children’s Hospice last week and are deeply saddened at the news.
PNE skipper Paul Coutts says: “It is terrible news to learn about Katy’s death and everyone at the club sends their condolences to her family.
“We visited her at Derian House last week and she was a lovely little girl with a wonderful family.
“We were all keeping our fingers crossed that she would be able to get to Australia for surgery.”