THE devastated family of schoolgirl Heather Horsfield, who was found dead at the top of the stairs by her mum, have been told she died of natural causes.
Rhyddings High School pupil Heather, 15, collapsed and died at her home in Stanley Street, Accrington, after feeling unwell with stomach pains.
It is thought the popular teenager died from a perforated stomach ulcer.
In the two days before her death, Heather's sister Tina, 25, twice took her to hospital where examinations and X-rays revealed nothing.
The second time she visited, Heather was vomiting and had a purple rash on her body.
The following day Heather got up to run herself a bath, but was found two hours later, slumped at the top of the stairs, by her mum, Susan, 45.
Ambulance crews were unable to revive her.
Tina said this week that, although the family needed questions answered, they were too upset to discuss the issue as they prepared for Heather's funeral.
Year 11 pupils at Rhyddings were said to be "shocked and stunned" by Heather's death.
Assistant headteacher Trevor Ainsworth said: "The pupils were told in the Year 11 assembly last Thursday and it was very moving.
"Obviously a good number of the 220 pupils didn't know and were absolutely silent.
"All the teachers present were taken aback by their response.
"Resident counsellors at the school are on hand to help the pupils come to terms with Heather's death, and we are treating each one as an individual with different needs. We are not laying down blanket rules for anybody."
Staff at Blackburn Royal Infirmary were also shocked by Heather's sudden death, and Jo Cubbon, chief executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "I would like to reiterate my sympathy to the Horsfield family at this terribly sad time.
"The Trust will carry out an investigation to review Heather's care in the Accident and Emergency Department, and establish whether lessons can be learned."
Heather's funeral was taking place on Thursday afternoon, with a service at St John's Church, Accrington, followed by cremation at Accrington.