Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Friday, 14 August 2009 16:17 UK

Swine flu teenager's funeral held

Madelynne Butcher
Madelynne Butcher fell ill on returning from a holiday in Tenerife

About 250 mourners attended the funeral of a "courageous" teenager who died after being diagnosed with swine flu.

Madelynne Butcher, 18, of Southampton, fell ill after returning from a holiday in Tenerife and was prescribed Tamiflu.

Miss Butcher was transferred from Southampton General Hospital to a specialist unit at a Leicester hospital but died on 6 August.

Reverend Canon Bruce Hartnell conducted the service at St Mary's in Sholing, followed by a private family burial.

Many of Miss Butcher's friends wore items with neon colours "to represent the colour she put into people's lives and the colourful life she had in front of her".

Our beloved Maddy will be loved, remembered and forever cherished by us all
Madelynne's mother Beverley Butcher

They applauded as her wicker coffin was taken away by a horse-drawn carriage after the service.

Miss Butcher's mother, Beverley said: "She loved every minute of life.

"Madelynne was so adorable, everyone who met her thought so and that's what all her friends have been saying.

"She was very outgoing, easy-going and thoughtful, always thoughtful to her friends and family."

Rev Hartnell, 67, who baptised Miss Butcher, said: "The message I am hoping we will take away is that although it is dreadful and we feel helpless, her life has been one well worth celebrating."

'Amazing girl'

Her mother added: "Madelynne passed away suddenly after a long and very courageous fight.

"Aged 18 years, our beloved Maddy will be loved, remembered and forever cherished by us all."

Miss Butcher was suffering from shortness of breath when her mother took her to a doctor's surgery.

She was admitted to Southampton General Hospital and later transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for specialist treatment.

Her family said the exact cause of her death had not been confirmed but added she had been previously diagnosed as suffering from swine flu.

Tributes on the social networking site Facebook have described Miss Butcher as "an amazing girl" and "truly one in a billion".

She had been offered a place to study biology at the University of East Anglia and had recently left Itchen College.


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