GABRIELLE GRAHAM, a 10-year-old student of the Half-Way-Tree Primary School in St Andrew collapsed and died at her Barbican home on Wednesday, shocking her parents and the school community.
"We are still trying to come to grips with the tragic news it has really come as a surprise for all of us," said Carol O'Connor Clarke, principal of the school.
The child's mother, Maureen Edwards Graham, said yesterday that she was "trying to come to terms with what has happened. Her father was taking her to school on Wednesday morning when she told him that she was feeling tired and started to breath heavy," said Graham.
Edwards Graham explained that she received a phone call from the child's father who told her of the incident and both parents decided to bring the child to see a doctor at the Bustamante Children's Hospital, where she was reportedly treated and released.
She said that Gabrielle was brought home and "was showing signs of improvement and talking to family members when she collapsed and died".
The child died just days before her eleventh birthday, which she would have celebrated on Friday, September 28, Edwards Graham said.
Yesterday, news of the death left school officials and students at Half-Way-Tree Primary in shock.
Shelly Lee, vice-principal, said one student was rushed to hospital after she fainted upon hearing the news about her schoolmate's death.
"It is not just us the teachers, the entire school community that has been left in mourning," said Lee, as she expressed condolences to the family of the deceased.
"On behalf of the school staff we extend deepest condolences to the family, at this time and we want to assure them that they have our support," said another teacher.