THE father of a 12-year-old girl who died after suffering an asthma attack has spoken of how he held his daughter in her final moments.
Holly Sparshott, 12, of Elson Lane, in Elson, Gosport, died at Naomi House hospice last week after falling into a coma when she had an attack that stopped her breathing for 15 minutes.
She collapsed at Brockhurst Medical Centre on September 25 but bravely battled to stay alive for four weeks.
Holly’s dad Dave Sparshott, 41, of Rothesay Road, in Gosport, said: ‘She was out for 10 to 15 minutes without oxygen.
‘But she’s a little fighter, she stayed with us for four weeks.
‘It gave us all that time to lay on her bed, cuddle her and it gave us that extra time to say our goodbyes.
‘We were able to cope a bit better, cuddle her – it was really nice stroking her hair up to the end.
‘I laid on the bed with her until she took her last breath.’
Dave had taken Holly to the doctor’s surgery after she had the asthma attack at home.
She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital and doctors and ambulance crew restarted her heart.
Holly spent three weeks at the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Southampton General Hospital before being taken to Naomi House hospice.
She was taken off life-support at the hospital but lasted 30 hours on her own before being put back on it.
At the hospice she was again taken off life-support and died a week later.
Dave thanked the hospice and hospital for their ‘fabulous work’ in bringing the family together.
And he paid a moving tribute to Holly, who died last Thursday at 1am.
‘She was such a happy girl, she always made sure she put a smile on your face,’ he said.
‘It was the kind of character she was, she always wanted a little kiss or a cuddle. She was very brave – she didn’t want to put on or worry anyone.’
Holly is survived by her sister Emily, 15, and mother, Sarah Sparshott, both of Elson Lane.
Sarah has since launched an asthma awareness campaign on Facebook, called Holly’s Asthma Legacy.
Holly’s grandfather Roy Sparshott, 69, said: ‘Holly’s parents were with her for the whole of the four weeks.
‘They took it in turns to be with her at night.’
Classmates at Bay House School are due to hold an assembly of remembrance, and headteacher Ian Potter has paid tribute to Holly.
In a statement Mr Potter said: ‘We remember Holly for bringing happiness to others and as an honest and thoughtful girl with a great sense of humour and positive outlook on life.
‘Her smile and laugh were infectious and she would quickly brighten up any room she entered. She will be missed by all who taught and knew her.
‘Our thoughts are very much with her family and friends at this difficult time.’