A TEENAGER has died after suffering a severe asthma attack just weeks after her 13th birthday.
Shannon Cassidy, from Horden, died shortly after being taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Her devastated family still don’t know what triggered such a strong attack, which happened while she watched TV at her aunt’s home.
The Easington Academy pupil was due to be laid to rest today with a funeral at 11am at Peterlee Methodist Church, followed by burial at Eden Lane Cemetery.
Shannon’s heartbroken parents – full-time mum Sarah, 34, and former soldier Gavin, 36 – paid tribute to their “little angel”.
Shannon was diagnosed with asthma when she was just three and had previously suffered seasonal attacks. She had regularly been treated in hospital for the condition. But Sarah, of Horden’s Hall Crescent, who is also mum to Kieran, 11, and Brandan, nine, also an asthma sufferer, said: “We are just devastated, we didn’t ever think this would happen.”
Emergency services were called to the home of Shannon’s aunt, Kelly Douglas, in nearby Forth Close at about 8pm on December 2 after Shannon struggled for breath.
Despite using her inhaler, her condition deteriorated and the former Easington Colliery Primary School pupil even told Kelly’s partner Graham Ainsley: “Help me, I’m dying.”
She was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, with Sarah and Kelly following with a police escort.
Sarah said: “I’ve seen her have asthma attacks before, but never anything like that.” Despite paramedics’ efforts, Shannon lost her fight for life shortly on arrival at hospital.
Sarah paid tribute to her daughter, who was in the school choir, saying: “She was a bubbly child, really happy.
“We are trying to keep it together as a family, but I don’t think Christmas will ever be the same again.”
Gavin, who lives in Peterlee, added: “She was always the strong one, she had a mothering nature.
“She was my first-born. My dearest darling daughter will always be in our hearts and souls.”
Shannon’s grandfather Peter “Dougie” Douglas said: “Shannon was a lovable child and she got on well with everybody.”
She also leaves behind grandparents Doreen Douglas, John and Daree Hyde and Elspeth Cassidy.