A TRAGIC Scottish teenager took seriously ill and died within hours of becoming critically ill with a mystery illness.
Claire Taylor, 17, from Kirriemuir, Angus, had been struggling with a viral infection for two-and-a-half weeks but seemed well enough to be looked after at home by her family.
Her condition sharply deteriorated on Wednesday night and despite a desperate attempt by paramedics to save her life, the popular student died on Thursday morning.
The student, who hoped to become a dietician after leaving school, have paid moving tribute to their “wee firecracker.”
And friends of the Webster’s High School sixth-year pupil have set up a tribute Facebook page in memory of the “popular and kind” teenager.
Her heartbroken mum, Helen, 52, who spoke of her grief yesterday – told how the family had been left devastated by Claire’s death.
She said: “She’d had a virus for about 2 ½ weeks. It just got steadily worse and worse. She’d been getting weaker and weaker and last night she just slipped away.
“We don’t even know what it was yet, just some kind of viral infection or something.
“She had a huge group of friends – she was a popular wee girl.”
Claire had lived at home with dad Malcolm, and brothers Andrew 19 and 14-year-old Douglas.
Malcolm, 51, said his daughter was a “wee firecracker” who worked hard at school.
He added: “She was small and blonde and a real worker. She set her heart on becoming a dietician and she was working towards that. She was a grafter who gave everything 110% – everything was full-on.
“She was the geography prefect at Webster’s as well and she loved that. She liked baking cakes – that would have been her second choice of career, to be a confectioner and make cakes.”
Claire was a passionate dancer having attended classes in Glamis from the age of five as well as regularly taking part in musical theatre performances.
Malcolm said Claire’s daughters had been hit hard by their sister’s death.
He added: “We’re all in shock. Claire and Dougie were inseparable when they were younger.
“Andrew is just numb and Dougie is heartbroken.”
Mum Helen said: “We had 17 beautiful years with her and we’ll always remember the good times – there were heaps of those.
“We’d like to thank all of her friends for their kind words and their love for Claire over the years.
“She was a very sociable wee girl. She had her main group of friends, but she was very popular outside of that too.”
Friends of the tragic teen have left dozens of messages to Claire on a Facebook tribute page set up in her memory.
One friend, Megan Reith, wrote: “RIP Claire. Awful that someone so innocent and kind was taken so early. Prayers going out to Claire’s friends and family, may the Gods take care of her until we all join her.”
Another Jess Hider, wrote: “Claire, I will happily look back at all our time spent together doing the musicals. It’s a shame that we won’t get to do anymore together. I hope wherever you are you’ve found peace.”
Ashley Niblock added: “Such a kind girl, gonna miss that cheeky wee smile of yours too! thoughts are with your family and friends.”
A spokeswoman for Tayside Police said: “We were alerted to a sudden death at Kirriemuir at 1.40am today.
“There are no suspicious circumstances but, as with all sudden deaths, a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.”