Parents pay TRIBUTE to 12-year-old girl who died after being rushed to hospital with severe headaches


Parents have paid tributes to their ‘happy, smiling’ 12-year-old daughter who died after being rushed to hospital with severe headaches while on holiday. 

Gemma Caffrey passed away at Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle on October 25 2021 after she started suffering from severe headaches while on holiday in nearby Haggerston Castle in Northumberland. 

Cause of Her Death

An inquest at Newcastle Coroner’s Court concluded Gemma death was due to Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), which prevents blood from draining out of the brain. 

However, Assistant Coroner Karen Dilks said the ‘underlying cause of which is unascertained.’


Paying tribute to their daughter following the inquest, Gemma’s parents Alison and Graeme Caffrey said: ‘Gemma was happy, bubbly and always smiling. Her laugh was very infectious too.’

They said: ‘She was full of life and very, very clever. She loved school and socialising with her friends. We run our own business and if we ever went away she would come with us – she was very well travelled.’

Court Heard

The inquest heard that Gemma and her parents were on holiday at Haggerston Castle in Northumberland in October 2021 when she started suffering from severe headaches which caused her to wake up in the middle of the night. 

She Was Rushed

She was taken to  Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington, Northumberland on October 11 2021.

Gemma was then transferred to Great North Children’s Hospital on the same day, where she later underwent a craniectomy to remove a section of her skull to relieve pressure on her brain.

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Mr and Mrs Caffrey spoke about how Gemma loved Haggerston Castle and would visit with her family from Hamilton, in Lanarkshire, three times a year – Easter, summer and in October. 

Prior to Her Death

They had booked for Gemma, who lived horses, to go on a pony trek at Haggerston Castle during their stay. However, she told her parents she wasn’t feeling up to it, which raised concerns for the couple.

Mrs Caffrey said: ‘We knew something was wrong because we had booked her pony rides and she woke up on the Saturday and said “I can’t do it”. At that point we knew that something was not right because that was her passion.

‘She had just started horse riding in the June. She’d been going on at me since she was five years old that she wanted to do horse riding. I eventually caved in the June and she was incredible.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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