Tributes to Belfast child who died from Sudden Death Syndrome

The family of a North Belfast teenager have paid tribute to "such a thoughtful little girl with a huge heart".

Sofia Forgione, 13, passed away on April 2, with what is believed to have been Sudden Death Syndrome, leaving her family, friends and community heartbroken.

The Ardoyne child was a Year 9 pupil at Mercy College, and was described as "a talented student who will be greatly missed".

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Speaking to Belfast Live, Sofia's aunt Lauren said: "Sofia passed from SDS where she went to sleep and didn’t wake, absolutely devastating news and still coming to the terms of the shock of our little girl gone, it still doesn’t feel real at all, hard to comprehend to say the least.

"⁠Sofia was quiet to most people as they would say she was a quiet wee girl, but to her family and friends she was the comedian of the room, she loved a laugh, making people laugh and always making sure everyone around her was having fun and if you were around her I can guarantee you’d be laughing.

"She loved making videos with her friends on TikTok, she loved teddy bears to the point her room was covered in them, she had a favourite, wee Nala from Lion King that never left her side. She loved family time, any family event she was so excited to be at, she loved family being together and always said it wasn’t the same when we weren’t all together.

"Sofia loved camping, sunshine and sleeping over in her nanny's every Saturday without a doubt she was there. She would have lived on bacon and chips if she was allowed to and she was the heart and soul of any room, she lit up any room she walked into with her presence.

"She was such a thoughtful little girl who would never buy a card as she loved to make them for everyone, very caring thoughtful wee girl with the biggest heart imaginable. She loved playing games with her cousins, again making sure everyone was having fun.

"Life will never ever be the same without her, she made such a huge impact on everyone’s life and it’s heartbreaking to even begin to believe she is gone and will not get to do the many plans she had for her life ahead."

A family-friend has organised a fundraising event, in Sofia's memory.

He said: "After the sudden devastating passing of our dear friends beautiful daughter Sofia Forgione on April 2 and the unbearable financial impact this will surely have on the family, we will be running this fundraiser on Saturday May 4 in The Star at 8pm - 1am.

Door donations will be a minimuim of £5, and anyone attending is asked to wear blue, which was Sofia's favourite colour. There will be a disco for all ages and ballot.

"We hope everyone can come together as a community and come out to support on the night," their friend added.

Lauren added: "Our whole family would like to say a huge thank you to the community who has came together as a whole to support the loss of our little girl.

"Without the support from the community we would have been lost, they have been amazing to say the least, nothing ever went unnoticed. Completely grateful for the huge support and the continued support still."

Please click this link to donate in memory of Sofia Forgione.

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