Photo gallery: Hundreds celebrate the life of Fakenham’s “amazing” and “inspirational” Ellie Loades

The funeral procession of 16 year old Ellie Loades makes its way through Colkirk - Ellie's coffin covered in photos of her, is carried into the church. Picture: Matthew Usher. The funeral procession of 16 year old Ellie Loades makes its way through Colkirk - Ellie's coffin covered in photos of her, is carried into the church. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013
5:37 PM

The life of a brave young girl who touched so many people’s hearts has been celebrated.

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Ellie Loades, from Colkirk, near Fakenham, lost her battle with cystic fibrosis towards the end of last month.

Never one to let the condition stand in her way, the 16-year-old was known for her passion for horses, her love of the great outdoors and as a gifted and talented young girl who made time for everyone.

Hundreds of friends and family members attended her funeral today.

There was standing-room only at St Mary’s Church while others stood outside for the special service of celebration.

Ellie’s coffin - covered in photos of her riding her beloved horses and her quad bike - arrived in a horse-drawn hearse, followed by friends and members of the family who wore her favourite colour, green.

There was not a dry eye in sight as her coffin was carried into the Colkirk village church to Elton John’s ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’, as her parents, Elaine and Nick Loades, and family members followed in tears.

During the service, Ellie was described as “talented” and “wonderful” with a dry sense of humour.

Her godfather Richard Hirst said: “She was a very special person. She touched people’s hearts in so many different ways and she had time for old and young people alike. She was amazing and truly inspirational.”

Ellie died at her home in School Road on November 17, with her mum, who has multiple sclerosis, and dad by her side.

Over the last couple of months, the family had seen the Fakenham High School pupil’s health deteriorate as her cystic fibrosis - which affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system - took hold.

Nevertheless, the determined teenager continued to learn to drive in her Mini, which she was allowed to do so at 16 as she was registered disabled - and she even drove in London while at Great Ormond Street Hospital - and was a bridesmaid at her aunt and uncle’s wedding during the summer.

“Nothing was unachievable in her eyes,” said her dad Nick, who gave up work nine years ago to be a full-time carer for both Ellie and Mrs Loades.

“She loved doing things, being outside and she loved her horse riding. We miss everything about her.”

Ellie, who was studying an equestrian course at Easton College, was buried in the churchyard at St Mary’s Church after the service.

Friends and family then gathered at Fakenham Racecourse.

Since her death, the family has received hundreds of cards, paying tribute to the former Colkirk Primary School pupil, who was recently a guest at Norwich City’s match against Chelsea and was a member of Fakenham’s amateur dramatics group Fadlos.

Ellie’s mum Elaine said: “Every single card says the same thing - that she was one of the bravest people anyone could’ve known, and she really was.

“She loved life and she was really happy, really affectionate and she was extremely beautiful. She was such a magical kid.”

Donations in memory of Ellie may be given for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust (Norfolk Branch) or Paediatric Endowment Fund (Buxton Ward NNUH) sent c/o Fakenham and District Funeral Services, Weasenham Manor, Fakenham Road, Weasenham St Peter.

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