Tributes paid to teacher who died with Covid-19 on her 25th birthday

27 January 2021, 07:22 | Updated: 27 January 2021, 07:24

Claudia Marsh died on her 25th birthday
Claudia Marsh died on her 25th birthday. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Tributes have been paid to a recently qualified teacher who died with Covid-19 on her 25th birthday.

Claudia Marsh's death last Wednesday at the Royal University Hospital in Liverpool was described by a family friend as "sudden and unexpected" and she was described by loved ones as a "beautiful soul."

An online funding page set up for donations to two organisations Ms Marsh was involved with, Talking Eating Disorders (TEDS) and The Whitechapel Centre, has already raised more than £15,000.

Leigh Best, family friend and founder of Teds which helped Ms Marsh when she had an eating disorder, said: "She had collapsed and was rushed to hospital, and then she deteriorated very quickly, so it was very sudden and unexpected."

She said Ms Marsh had recently qualified as a teacher, adding: "I have to say anyone who knew Claudia would say she just had a very beautiful smile.

"She had a smile that lit up a room, and she was very kind, very caring, very funny, and just a really, really beautiful young woman. She really was.

"And although she hadn't been attending TEDs for years she still made positive affirmation cards and recovery cards for our organisation.

"She was just a beautiful soul, really.

"She was a lovely, lovely young woman."

Ms Best said the family are "absolutely heartbroken" about Ms Marsh's death, adding that they have been overwhelmed with messages of "love and support".

The funding page, set up by her family on justgiving.com, says: "In loving memory of our beautiful daughter and incredible sister, Claudia, who passed away at The Royal University Hospital, Liverpool, on her 25th birthday after succumbing to Covid-19.

"In lieu of the family receiving flowers we would like to ask for donations towards two charities that Claudia was involved with and supported."

The page says that when Ms Marsh was diagnosed with an eating disorder TEDS was "a huge help, not only to her, but also to the family", adding: "It gave us hope and much needed support, and as Claudia recovered, she then became a support to other sufferers and their families."

The page outlines how Ms Marsh wanted to do something worthwhile with her spare time during lockdown last year and so she quickly became involved with sorting and packing food and sleeping parcels at The Whitechapel Centre.

"Claudia became the 'poster girl' for the charity, appearing on their website and Instagram pages when donations had been made.

"She loved being able to make a difference to people less fortunate than herself," the fundraising page says.

News of her death comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "deeply sorry" after the country surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths.

The Prime Minister last night insisted the UK Government "did everything it could" to minimise the number of lives lost to Covid and offered his "deepest condolences" to those who have lost relatives.

Speaking at a Downing Street press briefing, he pledged to ensure those who had died would be remembered, and said "we will come together as a nation to remember everyone we lost and to honour the selfless heroism of all those on the front line who gave their lives to save others".

Mr Johnson said: "On this day I shall just really repeat that I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost."

He was facing criticism from Labour today who said the government had done too little, too late at every stage of the pandemic.