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Inquest hears tributes to four-year-old Abbie-May Matin, who died in Margate after series of illnesses

A succession of illnesses caught up with a four-year-old girl who had battled gamely to fight them off, an inquest was told.

Abbie-May Matin was disabled as the result of a meningitis attack when she was just nine days old.

The resulting brain damage meant she suffered from cerebral palsy.

The order was granted at Canterbury Magistrates' Court
The order was granted at Canterbury Magistrates' Court

Much of her nervous system was knocked out which meant she could hardly see, could just speak, couldn't walk and would have to be fed pureed food because she couldn't swallow properly.

Abbie-May also suffered from pneumonia and epilepsy.

She was at her grandmother's home in Appledore Close, Margate, on March 2 when some of the pureed roast dinner she'd eaten got into her lungs as she slept, the inquest at Canterbury Magistrates' Court heard.

Paediatrician Dr Jan Stanek said grandmother Cindy Bailey could have done little to prevent her death even if she knew what had caused it.

"She was a funny little girl. Despite all she went through she lit everyone's life up" - Gran Cindy Bailey

She said Abbie-May would stay with her and partner Barry Wright when she had hospital appointments or to give her parents respite care.

Miss Bailey said her antics would make all who came into contact with her smile.

She said: "She was a funny little girl. Despite all she went through she lit everyone's life up. On March 1 she was so energetic. She was jigging around and full of it. I thought it was fantastic and I was so excited.

"She was kicking her legs and she had so much going for because we thought she had a little bit of vision."

Her grandma said Abbie-May had her pureed roast dinner and a pudding half an hour later.

The pair made regular checks and could hear her snoring but the next morning they found her dead.

Paramedics were called but they could do nothing to save her.

North East Kent Assistant Coroner Christopher Morris said:"One sees many tragic things. There is little more tragic than the death of a young child.

"Despite her problems Abbie-May was a happy and chirpy little child. How much joy she brought into the hearts of the people who knew her. Her grand parents took great care of her keeping her happy and entertained.

"She was much loved and very much cared for."

A verdict of death by natural causes was recorded.

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