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Over 250 attend funeral of teenager Madelynne Butcher
2:04pm Friday 14th August 2009 in News
A funeral was held today for an ''outgoing and adorable'' teenager who died after getting swine flu.
Madelynne Butcher fell ill after returning from a holiday in Tenerife and died in hospital last week.
The 18-year-old, known as Maddy, who wanted to study to become a doctor, was set to celebrate her A-level results later this month.
The funeral service at St Mary's Church, Sholing, Southampton, was conducted by retired priest and family friend, Canon Bruce Hartnell, who baptised Madelynne almost 18 years ago.
The 67-year-old said: ''When you hear dreadful news about someone you know, you feel inevitably helpless and the opportunity that soon appeared to help the family in some small way by leading a funeral was one I could not let go.
''The message I am hoping we will take away is that although it is dreadful and we feel helpless, her life has been one well worth celebrating.
''She was a lovely child and I remember her coming to Sunday Club and services with her family. She was a lively child and when in her teens, she became even livelier.
''She made many friends and she impressed her fellow students so much that they elected her president of the students' union.
''She was outgoing and took life in her stride and she was always looking for all the enjoyment in it and was always wanting to share that.
''She packed more into her 18 years than many did in 30, she really went for it and gave a great number of people a lot of happiness.''
During the service, Maddy's friend Amy Peters sang her own song, I Will Fight, in dedication to her.
The service began with Somewhere Over The Rainbow and ended with Yes Jesus Loves Me by Whitney Houston.
The hymns sung were Lord Of The Dance, Morning Has Broken and One More Step Along The World I Go.
Many of Maddy's friends wore items with neon colours ''to represent the colour she put into people's lives and the colourful life she had in front of her''.
Maddy's brother Robin said in tribute to his sister: ''I can only imagine the madness and love she would bring to my life as she began to flourish into a beautiful woman.
''With her rebellious nature, she lived her life to the full, not caring for what tomorrow may bring and her strong mind were all testament to her.
''It's her spirit and strength that I miss more than anything.''
The group of about 250 mourners applauded as the wicker coffin was taken away by horse-drawn carriage following the service for a private family interment.
A spokesman for her parents Beverley and Alan and brother Robin, who live in Southampton, said that Madelynne had appeared well prior to her holiday.
She travelled with a friend to the Canary Islands in June to celebrate the end of her exams but was not feeling well when she returned home a month ago.
Her mother took her to the local doctor's surgery and she was later admitted to Southampton General Hospital before being transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for specialist treatment where she died on August 6.
A post-mortem was unable to establish the precise cause of the teenager's death.
The family spokesman said: ''The exact cause of Maddy's death has not been confirmed. I understand that she had been previously diagnosed as suffering from swine flu. More details are not as yet available.''
Madelynne had studied for her A-levels at Itchen College, Southampton, where she had been president of the students' union.
She intended to take up the offer of a place at the University of East Anglia to study biology and other subjects.
She also enjoyed helping children with disabilities and was a play worker at the Rose Road Association in Southampton.
The family asked for donations at the funeral to made to the Rose Road Association.
Mrs Butcher said: ''She loved every minute of life. Madelynne was so adorable, everyone who met her thought so and that's what all her friends have been saying.
''She was very outgoing, easy-going and thoughtful, always thoughtful to her friends and family.
''Madelynne passed away suddenly after a long and very courageous fight. Aged 18 years, our beloved Maddy will be loved, remembered and forever cherished by us all.''