Sophie Stephenson has been remembered by loved ones after she passed away last Thursday.
Sophie Stephenson has been remembered by loved ones after she passed away last Thursday. Contributed

Young cheerleader missed after tragic end to health battle

A CLOSE-knit Rockhampton family has been rocked with the sudden loss of their loved one, nine year-old Sophie Stephenson last week.

Brave Sophie had endured health problems for her entire life after doctors found a heart murmur when she was just two days old.

Sophie's Nana, Kerry Smith was a second mother to her and the pair had formed a close bond.

She was lost for words describing the impact their loss has been on their family.

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 last 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, two 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 life-changing double heart and lung transplant.

Sadly, it wasn't to be.

Young Warrior

Throughout her life, Sophie proved to be a strong warrior, having shown her will to live a normal life by taking up cheerleading and trampoline.

"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 competed 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 Go Fund Me page which was created to support Sophie's family has so far reached over $2000.

 

Sophie Stephenson has been remembered by loved ones after she passed away last Thursday.
Sophie Stephenson has been remembered by loved ones after she passed away last Thursday. Contributed

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 on Saturday from 1pm to 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.

You can show your support for Sophie's family by heading to their Go Fund Me page via www.gofundme.com/sophies-life-celebration.

Rest in Peace Sophie.



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