PARENTS

13-Year-Old's Book Published After Her Death

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Schoolgirl's dreams of being a published author come true after her tragic death

The private diaries of a 13-year-old girl have been published, a year after her death from a brain haemorrhage.

Jemima Layzell had dreamed of becoming an author and had kept journals throughout the last three years of her short life.

Her parents, Harvey and Sophy, found Jemima's diaries after her death, and turned them into a book, The Draft.

"We thought it would be really good even if it was never published properly, to fulfill her wish," her dad Harvey, 44, said. "It's both her first and last book."

Her mum Sophy, 39, added that they just wanted to make Jemima's dream 'a reality'.

The book has already been praised by children's authors Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo.

War Horse author Mr Morpurgo told reporters the book was 'important': "We all have our stories to tell. This is Jemima's first and last and because of that so important to all of us who read it now. This is her life," he said.

Dame Jacqueline added: "I think it's the most beautiful, touching, heart-breaking book. It must be devastating to lose such a wonderful, talented child, but clearly this precious book is one way that she will live on in everyone's hearts."

The tragic school girl died without any warning after falling ill while preparing for her mum's birthday in March last year. After collapsing at home, Jemima was rushed to Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset, where she was found to have had a massive bleed caused by a ruptured aneurysm deep in the left side of her brain. She was later transferred to the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, but died four days later.

Her family had never read the diaries while she was alive, but were so moved by them after Jemima's passing that they decided to make her unfulfilled dream come true by printing them.

The Draft opens:

'This diary belongs to Jemima Elizabeth Layzell and if I were a Fairy, I'd be called Lizzy Stardust'. It goes on to chronicle Jemima's thoughts on love, friendships and her dreams for the future.

One extract reads: "Some people say that God can't exist because if he did he would help all the poor people in the world. I object to that. I feel their despair but WE have to help them. They are there because we did this to them. They are there because we have a wrong to right. They are there to stop us from turning into complete monsters before it's too late."

Jemima dedicated her final journal to 'all those who have made the world a better place, and those who never had the chance to'.

"I almost feel as though I will never live long enough to become an author, to be married and have a family," she wrote.

The Draft went on sale on May 21 on what would have been Jemima's 15th birthday. Proceeds from it will be divided between her little sister Amelia, 12, and a charitable trust which will be set up in her name.

Jemima had spoken to her parents about organ donation shortly before her death, and her organs saved the lives of two five-year-old boys, a 14-year-old girl, a 10-month old boy, a three-and-a-half year old boy, two people aged 19 and 24, and a 40-year-old man.

More:

Teenagers
Suggest a correction