TEARS flowed as heart-broken family and friends said goodbye to bubbly Hartlepool teenager Ellie-Mae Morgan at her funeral.
Touching tributes were paid at the service of celebration for her life at All Saints Church in Stranton, Hartlepool.
Ellie-Mae passed away, aged just 16, last Friday after a two-year battle against the genetic disorder Juvenile Huntington’s Disease.
Eulogies remembering her spirit, her smile and strength were read out by members of her family including sisters Aimee Humphries and Olivia Morgan, and brother Harry-Jon Morgan.
They talked about how her death had left a massive hole in their lives and remembered many happy times together.
Those times included trips to Disneyland in Florida, riding roller coasters at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and proposing marriage to One Direction singer Liam Payne at Wembley Arena.
Fighting back tears, Harry-Jon described his sister as: “The most amazing, strong, charming girl I ever had the privilege to have known and loved.”
He also praised her strength during her illness which took away her speech and mobility.
Ellie-Mae’s pink coffin was taken to church in a white horse-drawn carriage and mourners wore an item of pink clothing at the family’s request.
Reverend Norman Shave, who led the service, wore a pink flower and pink collar.
High Tunstall College of Science where Ellie-Mae was “one of the family” organised buses to the service so staff and friends could pay their respects.
Songs by Ellie-Mae’s favourite singers including Joe McElderry and One Direction filled the church.
Dozens of happy photographs of Ellie-Mae were shown on big projectors.
She and mum Sam, and her brother and sisters, moved to Hartlepool from Cheltenham when Ellie-Mae was eight.
The family was completed when Sam met and later married Richard Carter, who also has three children.
Ellie-Mae was diagnosed with the rare disorder in March 2012 which had also struck down her biological dad and grandfather.
A collection was held at the service and will be split between the Huntington’s Disease Association and Stranton Church.
A committal service was held at Stranton Grange Crematorium afterwards and the celebration of Ellie-Mae’s life continued at South Durham Social Club in Westbourne Road.