A teenager died three days after going out partying with friends, completely unaware that she was terminally ill.
Ellie Walsh’s mother has paid tribute to her daughter who said goodbye to her friends after spending an evening with them on Christmas Eve.
On December 27 she underwent surgery when a scan revealed she had a tumour on her stomach, but there were complications and she died.
Mum Emma Walsh, 37, says she never got the chance to properly say goodbye.
‘We didn’t realise just how ill Ellie was,’ she said. ‘She had tummy pains for a few years and then about five weeks ago, a scan showed she had a tumour.
‘We have been going to the doctors since 2014 as she has lost a lot of weight and had bad pains in her side but it was always passed off and she was given paracetamol.
‘She died during the operation but before she went in [for the operation] I told her I loved her and that I would see her later.
‘When they told me I was in shock and my head went into a spin. You could see they were upset but they did all they could.
‘I wouldn’t wish that on anybody though.’ The bubbly teen had looked set to start an exciting career having just been taken on as a permanent receptionist after impressing as an apprentice at law firm Burton and Co.
But, while her death has come as a surprise, her mum has taken comfort from the fact that the pair got to spend a final Christmas together and that her baby girl was able to live a normal life right until the end.
‘It is a shock,’ she added. ‘Ellie was out on Christmas Eve with her friends.
‘She was quite a private person and had a small group of friends, but they have stuck by her all the way through school.
‘They loved partying and even though Ellie was usually quiet, she would talk to anyone on a night out.
‘I am taking comfort from the fact Ellie got to do all the things she wanted to do as had she had known, she wouldn’t have enjoyed herself as much.’
The distraught mum has since learned that the growth in her daughter’s stomach was most likely cancer and even if the operation had been a success then Ellie would have still most likely only had a few months left to live.
And she is glad that people will be able to remember her daughter for the bright and smiley girl she was.
‘Ellie was so kind and funny,’ she said. ‘She was a great sister and daughter. She had a great sense of humour but was so brave. I will miss her forever.’
Tributes have appeared online since Ellie’s death was made public and her mum said that has really helped the family during a difficult time.
‘I want to say thanks to everyone who has got in touch,’ she added. ‘The nice things said about Ellie have been a real comfort.
‘Both Lincoln and Sheffield hospitals were great as well.’
Mary-Anne McNulty also paid a heartfelt tribute to her best friend of 14 years.
She said: ‘I went to primary school with Ellie and we started secondary school together until she left to go to LSST, but we still remained as close as ever.
‘Ellie was a kind, generous, beautiful and funny young girl. She will always remain my best friend and she will never be forgotten.’
An exact cause of death has yet to be determined.