Emotional goodbyes as crowds gather to celebrate life of loving Crookhorn teenager

HUNDREDS of people gathered to say their final goodbyes to a teenager who '˜touched the hearts of everyone she met'.

Tuesday, 27th February 2018, 5:00 am
Katie Scannell's bright pink casket is carried into the crematorium. Picture by Malcolm Wells

The family and friends of Katie Scannell packed into The Oaks Crematorium, in Havant, to celebrate her life.

As previously reported in The News, she died from a secondary brain tumour in January, after being diagnosed last year with a rare type of soft tissue cancer.

Songs from Ariana Grande, Little Mix and Jessie J were played throughout the service yesterday.

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A picture of Katie Scannell was shared by singer Ariana Grande

The 14-year-old’s casket was bright pink with pictures of her from all ages and her idol pop artist Ariana Grande.

Written on it was ‘Katie Boo, gone on holiday’ as holidays were one of Katie’s favourite things to do.

As the casket was lifted from the car, a light flurry of snow started to fall and her parents Jason and Michelle and older brother Harry carried three single roses forward.

Among the teary and emotional crowd were two therapy dogs from charity Pets as Therapy which takes five golden retrievers into Southampton General Hospital to meet the patients.

Katie's friends released balloons after the service

Michelle and Jason, from Crookhorn, had previously said how much she adored Archie and Leo, ensuring she saw them every time they visited the hospital while she had chemotherapy treatment.

Speaking on behalf of the family during the service, Paddy said: ‘We have been overwhelmed by the support since Katie’s death.

‘She loved life and always had a smile on her face.

‘She touched the hearts of everyone she met, God bless our princess Katie.’

Katie's parents Michelle and Jason and her brother Harry carry roses at the funeral

During the service, people were reminded of Katie’s outlook on life - to be positive.

Andy Searson, who led the service, said it was important people keep her memory alive.

‘The more we talk about her, think of our memories of her and remember her, the more it will keep her life alive in ours,’ he said.

‘That is important and it’s our responsibility to do that.’

A picture of Katie Scannell was shared by singer Ariana Grande

He added: ‘Katie’s was a life that hasn’t had the opportunity to flourish.

‘It is hard not to feel emotional, even I am feeling the sadness in the room.

‘But Katie is looking down from Greece or Turkey thinking “what’s all the fuss and bother?” and “why is everyone so sad?”

‘She would say “smile, be positive, you only live once”.’

After the service, Katie’s close friends released balloons spelling her name and shaped like hearts.

It comes after crowds gathered on Portsdown Hill on February 4 to release balloons on what would have been Katie’s 15th birthday.

Katie's friends released balloons after the service

Donations were made to children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House and the Community Children’s Nursing Team in Portsmouth.

Katie's parents Michelle and Jason and her brother Harry carry roses at the funeral