A Melton woman has helped raise more than £9,000 in a matter of days to pay for the funeral of her friend’s little girl.
Annaleise Bradley was distraught after hearing about the sudden death of five-year-old Josie Hunt, who suffered a cardiac arrest on her way to hospital after saying she felt unwell.
She decided she had to do something to help and launched an online crowd-funding page to raise money towards Josie’s funeral and it quickly went viral.
Annaleise, who lives in King’s Road, said: “I was hoping to raise about £100 on the page but within three hours it was already up to £1,000.
“My phone has just kept pinging with donations after that and I’m amazed it is now over £9,000.
“Average donations have been £20 to £30, which is a lot of money to give at this time of the year, and there was one of £285 from a complete stranger.
“It is so sad what has happened but the public reaction has restored my faith in humanity.”
Annaleise struck up a friendship with Josie’s mum, Elise, in 2009, when both worked as nannies in a ski resort in France.
The pair kept in touch and both went on to raise families. Annaleise married Stuart, a dairy farmer at Old Dalby, and the couple have a two-year-old son called Jenson.
Elise, who lives in south Wales, married a chef she met at the ski resort, Daniel. They also have a son, Evan (3).
Annaleise was stunned when she saw messages of condolence on Facebook following Josie’s tragic death.
“We stayed friends and we’ve watched each other’s children grow up through social media,” she said.
“I couldn’t believe what happened when I read people’s messages. Josie had woken up at 4am saying she wasn’t feeling very well. They put her in the car to go to hospital and she had a cardiac arrest and died later that day.
“My sister passed away last year and I know how stressful it is trying to find the money for a funeral so I thought this would help Elise and Daniel.
“Josie can now have a funeral fit for a princess.”
Elise said she was overwhelmed by the public response to her daughter’s death.
She said: “I can’t believe how many people have sent messages of support and the response to the JustGiving page has been astounding.”
The family are still coming to terms with the tragedy. Elise wrote on her Facebook page: “I am heartbroken beyond words.
“Our beautiful little girl has been cruelly taken away from us. I can only be grateful that we had a wonderful five years with her, and she’ll live on through her lovely little brother Evan, our only ray of light right now.”
To donate money to Annaleise’s fundraising page go online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Helpthehuntfamily