Inspirational fundraiser Kirsty Howard passed away at the age of 20 at 1:38am this morning. Kirsty, who was born with a back-to-front heart and was not expected to live beyond the age of four, raised up to £7.5 millions for Francis House children’s hospice in Manchester.
Kirsty Howard died in hospital at 1:38am on Saturday surrounded by her family, a spokesman said. She had just turned 20 a month ago.
Young Kirsty Howard, from Wythenshawe, Manchester, became world famous after she was accompanied on stage by David Beckham at Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in 2002, capturing the hearts of a whole nation.
Born on September 20, 1995, she was one of the only two world-wide children with a one-to-front heart. Doctors only gave the back then 4 years old girl a few weeks left to live.
Despite it, Kirsty went on to overcome her disease by becoming a tireless fundraiser. More than £7.5m was raised for Francis House children’s hospice in Manchester, winning her a host of famous admirers during her lifetime.
The Manchester children’s hospital was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales in 1991. Baptized Franchis House children’s hospice, Howard became the face of its charity appeal.
The young fundraiser allowed enough funding for the long-term future of its care for terminally ill children and support for their parents.
Another association was called ‘The Kirsty Club’ .Its aims were to expand and improve the service and act as a lasting legacy to Kirsty’s bravery in battling her health condition while helping the lives of others.
In her battle against the illness Kirsty also studied childcare at college. She had most recently become a glad aunt.
The hundreds of messages of condolence on social media did not take long after news of her death.