Pink balloons fly in memory of little Kelsey Smart

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By The Bristol Post | Friday, March 01, 2013, 08:00

PARENTS who lost their five-year-old daughter to meningitis released pink balloons to remember her on the first anniversary of her death.

Kelsey Smart, from Kingswood, died on February 28 last year after being struck down by meningitis.

To mark the first anniversary of her death Kelsey's parents Hannah, 25, and Jamie, 35, along with other relatives and friends, released 80 balloons, which were Kelsey's favourite colour, pink, and heart-shaped lanterns.

They wrote messages and stuck seeds to the balloons in the hope that whoever finds them will plant the seeds and flowers will grow where they land, in memory of Kelsey.

The ceremony took place at Hannah's mum Yvonne Ponter's Kingswood home, which is where Park Primary School pupil Kelsey's memorial garden and ashes were placed. A vicar held a short service and candles were lit, but the family were determined it was an upbeat day, especially for the children, including Kelsey's brother, Jayden, three.

Hannah said: "We arrived at the hospital and within five hours were told there was nothing that could be done.

"Meningitis destroyed our lives in such a short time and we miss Kelsey every day. Kelsey was fit, healthy and bright – meningitis can strike anyone at any time.

"We will always remember Kelsey and decided that the balloon launch would be the best way to keep her name alive and in everyone's hearts – one year on."

Kingswood-based charity Meningitis UK has supported the family since Kelsey's death. Founder Steve Dayman and chief executive Kate Rowland attended the event.

Mr Dayman, who lost his 14-month-old son Spencer to meningitis and septicaemia 30 years ago, said: "It's touching that Hannah and Jamie released pink balloons to remember Kelsey and to help raise awareness of this terrible disease."

The family is supporting Meningitis UK's Meningitis B: Beat it Now campaign, urging the Government to make a new vaccine against Meningitis B – one of the deadliest forms of the disease – available to all children on the NHS.

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