Woodland memorial to two-year-old Sophie

A grieving family have announced their ambition to plant a wood as a living memorial to their beautiful daughter who died suddenly just a day before her second birthday.

A grieving family yesterday announced their ambition to build a wood as a living memorial to their beautiful daughter who died suddenly just a day before her second birthday.

Sophie Rose was a bright and bubbly toddler until just hours before her death, on December 23, and had been out the day before buying a birthday cake and a special new dress with her family.

But a slight temperature developed into tummyache, and after a sleepless night she was taken to hospital where her condition deteriorated badly.

It was only after her death doctors worked out that Sophie, from Wingfield near Eye, was suffering from Group A Streptococcus which resulted in blood poisoning.

Parents Suzanne and Greg were determined to celebrate her life at the funeral, where 300 people wore colourful clothes and all the local children were asked to let off pink balloons in her memory.

And now the pair, along with five-year-old brother William, want to build a permanent reminder to their “happy little girl” that will take pride of place at the heart of their village.

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Mr Rose said: “We think a wood and wild flower area would be a wonderful living memorial to Sophie. We would also like to have some small pieces of wooden play equipment for young children.

“It would be somewhere for families to gather, and also a contemplative place. William has set his heart on planting a big oak tree in the middle of the wood for Sophie.”

The couple have already received several hundred pounds in donations, including from the Horham playgroup Sophie attended, and from friends and family.

Kate Lee from Fressingfield Nursery, who taught William, recently ran the Bungay half marathon to raise funds.

Mrs Rose added: “We cannot thank people enough for their generosity. Sophie was such a happy little girl and she was always at the heart of any gathering.

“We hope this will be something the whole community of Wingfield will want to create together.”

Discussions with a landowner are ongoing and the family hope to start planting the trees by the end of the year.

“Without the love and support from everyone we would not have had the strength to come to terms with losing Sophie,” the couple added. “She was and still is a huge part of our lives. We love her and miss her so much and having a focus such as her woodland is a real comfort.”

To make a donation contact Jane Greenwood on 01379 388532.

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