PUPILS and teachers at a high school have told of their shock after the tragic death of a teenager who suffered a suspected asthma attack.
Kelsey Hogg, 15, was rushed to hospital after collapsing at home on Sunday night, but could not be saved.
Classmates at Portobello High School have been laying flowers as the school’s flag flew at half-mast, while a tribute room was set up for them to share memories of a “model pupil”.
Headteacher Peigi Macarthur said the school, which the teenager had attended since late 2011, was trying to come to terms with the tragedy. A special remembrance service is being planned for after the Easter holidays.
Ms Macarthur said: “She was just a lovely, young girl and popular with staff and pupils. Everyone here is shocked and saddened by the terrible news.
“Kelsey was a model pupil, she was never in trouble and had lots of friends here. A lot of the students in her year group in particular are very upset. It’s very sad and our thoughts are with her family.”
Ambulance crews were called to Kelsey’s home in Britwell Crescent, Restalrig, at 11.10pm on Sunday, following reports of an asthma attack. She was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary but died shortly afterwards.
Neighbours told of their shock at the loss of a “lovely wee girl” who had grown up on the street. One said: “I can’t believe this has happened. They’re such a lovely family, it’s terribly sad. She was so full of life, a typical teenager and such a nice girl. I saw the blue lights, but I didn’t expect it to be Kelsey. I saw them bringing someone out on a stretcher but I didn’t realise it was her.”
Classmates and friends flocked to social networking sites to pay tribute to the popular teenager. A video montage of Kelsey and her friends has already received more than 2000 “likes” on Facebook.
Megan Martin wrote: “RIP Kelsey Hogg, such an amazing girl and friend. Just shows that someone can be taken away from your life at any minute. Been the best friend I could ask for four years and I’d never change you for anyone. Love you so much, my girl always xxxx.”
Others re-tweeted some of Kelsey’s poignant last tweets, including: “I miss being a wee girl coming home from an easy day at school and watching Disney channel, I’d do anything to be young again.”
Shona Haslam, national director at Asthma UK Scotland, said Kelsey’s death was tragic. She added: “We’re working towards a world where asthma is no longer a daily battle for some and where no child dies from the condition. Our dedicated asthma nurses can offer expert advice and support through the Asthma UK Adviceline, on 0800 121 62 44.”
Asthma sufferers in every school
ASTHMA is a condition that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.
When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways, muscles tighen so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and swells.
On average, there are two children with asthma in every classroom, with 3000 sufferers nationwide. In 2011 there were 94 asthma deaths in Scotland, including three children aged 14 and under.
Asthma UK says most asthma deaths could be prevented with regular management of the condition. For more info call the Asthma UK Adviceline on 0800 121 62 44.