Tributes have flooded in after the death of a young fundraiser who defied doctors to live to see her 20th birthday.
Kirsty Howard was born with her heart back-to-front, leading doctors to predict that she would not survive beyond the age of four.
But the youngster, from Wythenshawe in Manchester, proved medics wrong and went on to raise millions of pounds for Francis House Children’s Hospital in Manchester, ITV reported.
Despite her health problems, Kirsty was tireless in her work and was recognised with the Child of Courage award at the Pride of Britain Awards and the Helen Rollason Award for courage at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
She also met many high-profile figures, including the Queen, David and Samantha Cameron, the Beckhams and a host of others.
Kirsty’s heart condition was so rare that it did not even have a name, according to the Mirror.
She battled her illness hard and went on to study childcare at college, before celebrating her 20th birthday last month with a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
She continued to raise money through her charity The Kirsty Club, which was supported by many including Harrod’s boss Mohamed Al Fayed.
Kirsty was admitted to hospital earlier this week with a kidney infection but later went into cardiac arrest and was transferred to intensive care, according to the Manchester Evening News.
She died in the early hours of Saturday surrounded by her family.
A huge number of people paid tribute to Kirsty on social media…
Remembering this morning happier times with the very Brave Kirsty Howard pic.twitter.com/vlcRGs6hL5— Kevin Horkin (@KevinHorkin) October 24, 2015
What this amazing woman packed into such a short life is incredible and inspiring. Her legacy will live on. Love... https://t.co/COG5uzw4F6— Damian Morgan | (@BraveMusicMGMT) October 24, 2015
God bless Kirsty Howard what an incredible and inspirational young women you were! #ripkirsty— Adam Farricker (@AdamFarricker) October 24, 2015
Isn't it amazing how some people pack so much into a short life? What an inspiration.
RIP Kirsty Howard.October 24, 2015
Sad news this morning about Kirsty Howard, but she should be an inspiration to us all. God bless x— Paul Chorlton (@PaulChorlton) October 24, 2015
For more information about The Kirsty Club or to donate, click here