Heaven gained a darling angel
Community day to show support for girl who touched many
A CLOSE-KNIT Rockhampton family has been rocked with the sudden loss of nine year-old Sophie Stephenson last week.
Brave Sophie had endured health problems since birth after doctors found a heart murmur when she was just twodays-old.
Sophie’s nana Kerry Smith was lost for words describing the impact the loss has had on their family.
Kerry was a second mother to her and the pair had formed a close bond.
Reflecting on Sophie’s life and the important role she played within her family, Kerry said her granddaughter was the “most amazing girl I’ve ever met in my life”.
Sophie was eight-days-old when she had her first heart surgery, where she was given extensive work on her arteries to help her blood flow.
This was followed by two more surgeries when she was 18-months-old and her condition was monitored on a weekly basis.
In the past year and a half Sophie had three brain surgeries but would come out of each operation with a smile on her face, which showed her great character.
As of January this year, Sophie had endured three open heart, three brain and numerous other operations.
A number of years ago, the young warrior was told she would be wheelchair-bound.
It was revealed in an article published in The Morning Bulletin in January, Sophie would have needed to wait until she was 18-years-old to receive what would have been a lifechanging double heart and lung transplant.
Sadly, it wasn’t to be.
Throughout her life, Sophie proved to be a strong warrior, having shown her will to live a normal life by taking up cheerleading and trampolining.
“She had strength beyond her years, she gave us strength,” Kerry said.
Remembered for her zest of life, the former Mount Archer State School student had dreamed of competing in cheerleading at the Olympic Games.
Her other hobbies included art and making new friends in the classroom. Sophie’s smile could light up a room.
“Every path she crossed, she left a mark there – the community in Rockhampton and beyond has shown us that... she
touched so many lives,” Kerry said.
A GoFundMe page created to support Sophie’s family has so far reached more than $2000.
Kerry was left feeling “absolutely blown away and so grateful” after seeing the amount of support shown by the community.
A community day for Sophie will be held today from 1- 4pm near Victoria Park in Rockhampton.
Members of the community are invited to gather for a game of Pokemon Go around the area in honour of Sophie, who was a lover of the game.
Players are welcome to use the #sparkleforsophie hashtag. “The support we’ve received from the Pokemon community has been amazing,” Kerry said.
Community members have come to the aid of Sophie’s family by cooking meals and mowing their yard.
Support Sophie’s family by heading to their GoFundMe page via www.gofundme.com/ sophies -life-celebration.
EVERY PATH SHE CROSSED, SHE LEFT A MARK THERE ... SHE TOUCHED SO MANY LIVES.
SOPHIE’S NANA, KERRY SMITH
Sophie Stephenson has been remembered by loved ones after she passed away last Thursday.
Sophie Stephenson and dad Adam pat a dolphin.
LOVIING LIFE: Sophie Stephenson approached life head-on despite her health issues.
Sophie Stephenson, with mum Mel, had a smile that could light up any room and she made friends easily.