Goodbye, Shannon

Gazette: Goodbye, Shannon Goodbye, Shannon

A TREND has for tattoos depicting a teenager who died of an asthma attack has inspired her mum to be the next person to get one done.

Tragic Shannon Smith, 15, was a pupil at Stanway School, and died on March 24 last year.

On the first anniversary of her death, grieving mum Sarah Smith, of New Farm Road, Stanway, has revealed about 20 family and friends have been inked in Shannon’s memory over the past year.

Babies have also been named after Shannon, who died after being on a life support machine after she stopped breathing at a live show in St Osyth.

Mrs Smith, 37, has vowed to be the next person inked.

“She used to badger me about getting a new tattoo and she wanted one but I said I wouldn’t let her until the day she left school.

“I definitely will be the next to get one.

“I want a butterfly on my foot like one on her flowers on her day [Shannon’s funeral].

“The meaning being that she walks everywhere with me.”

Mrs Smith said the first person to get one of the tattoos was her brother and Shannon’s uncle, Jason, of Shrub End, who has a portrait of Shannon’s face on his chest.

“One evening he just came round and said he was going to have it done. It was literally a couple of days after the funeral.

“Then it was friends and loads of other people after that.”

The next person was teenager Luke Morris, who grew up with Shannon.

Shannon’s other uncle John, who lives in the Hythe, Colchester, also got tattoos of a cross and anchor on each of his thumbs which Mrs Smith said were symbolic of her daughter.

Mrs Smith said many people had come to ask her blessing for the tattoos or for photographs of Shannon for them to be copied in the designs.

The most recent person was family friend Tanya Byron, of Prettygate, Colchester, who had the teenager’s name, appearing to go through a diamond, inked on her arm, on Monday.

Two friends have named babies after Shannon in the last year too, one as a first name and another as a middle name.

Mrs Smith said: “I just think it is a beautiful tribute to have - it is a life-long thing. And to have daughters named after her, whether it’s a middle name or first name, that’s also a life-long tribute.

“It is an honour, it really is.”

During Monday’s memorial, pink balloons were released into the sky to the Gary Barlow song, Let Me Go, before lanterns were let off..

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