Grieving mother gives her 'best friend' perfect send off

Hundreads gathered to remember Kaychanel Willson and celebrate the life she lived.

Hundreds gathered to remember Kaychanel Willson and celebrate the life she lived. - Credit: Louise Willson

Kaychanel wasn’t expected to make it through her first night. 

Instead she astonished everyone and lived an exciting life to the age of 18. 

Kaychanel Willson was diagnosed with VACTERYL syndrome at birth and doctors feared she would not survive. 

But that brave little girl managed to live long enough reach her teenage years and tick numerous goals off her bucket list including a trip to Disneyland. 

The family made sure there were many rainbow coloured flowers. 

The family made sure there were many rainbow coloured flowers. - Credit: Louise willson

People came together to celebrate Kaychanel’s 18 years of life and give her the send-off she deserved.  

On 27 October, Kaychanel was carried by stunning white horses to Colney Wood, where she was laid to rest.  

Kaychanel was pulled by white horses to Colney Woods. 

Kaychanel was pulled by white horses to Colney Woods. - Credit: Louise willson

Mum Louise said that more than 150 people were in attendance at the funeral.  

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“It was beautiful," she added. "She was brought in to the sound of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ - the theme of rainbows was very prominent throughout the whole day.

Rainbows were a recurring theme at the funeral 

Rainbows were a recurring theme at the funeral - Credit: Louise Willson

Kaychanel loved animals and believed that when a dog died, they "go to the rainbow bridge".  

And Louise also remembered having rainbow lights draped over Kaychanel’s bed when they had their last sleepover together the night before she passed away.  

With that in mind rainbows became a symbol for all that her daughter loved.  

Dogs put paw prints on the coffin as a nod to her love of dogs.

Dogs put paw prints on the coffin as a nod to her love of dogs. - Credit: Louise Willson

Louise said “during the ceremony dogs wearing knitted rainbow bow ties put paw prints on Kaychanel’s coffin as a nod to her love for dogs, this happened while the song ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me' played. 

She added: “There was a very special moment where a video of Kaychanel singing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ when she was eight years old was played. 

Louise wants to thank everyone for their support over the last 18 years. 

Louise wants to thank everyone for their support over the last 18 years. - Credit: Louise Willson

“And we clapped 18 times to symbolise the 18 very special years Kaychanel had, she then exited to the beautiful outdoors of Colney Wood.”  

“I wish to thank Shayne Stork, the funeral director for helping to provide Kaychanel with the special funeral she deserved.  

Louise's favourite memory is getting to see Kaychanel attend her prom, comparing it to her wedding day. 

Louise's favourite memory is getting to see Kaychanel attend her prom, comparing it to her wedding day. - Credit: Louise Wilson

“Bob Hannam for the amazing celebration of her life and the land lord and lady at the Fiveways pub for helping to provide us with a great wake. 

Doctors and nurses helped to escort Kaychanel and all her equipment

Doctors and nurses helped to escort Kaychanel and all her equipment so that she could have her photo taken on the pride bridge at the NHS - Credit: Louise Wilson

“And James Murphy and Barry Bitcher for the karaoke and disco - it was a party my little girl would have loved.  

“And lastly, I want to thank everyone for the support they have given my girl over the last 18 years.” 

Kaychanel wasn't expected to survive her first night

Kaychanel wasn't expected to survive her first night but lived to celebrate her 18th - Credit: Louise Wilson

Teenager's final act of kindness

Kaychanel became well known for wanting to help people and she loved her ability to make people smile or laugh.  

After the wake, the family gathered all the left-over cupcakes and donated them to Norwich Homeless Support so Kaychanel could continue to help people and make them smile.  

Louise donated cupcakes in Kaychanels memory to Norwich Homeless Support.

Louise donated cupcakes in Kaychanels memory to Norwich Homeless Support. - Credit: Louise Willson

“We wanted to support people in Kay's memory," Louise added.  

“She was always making people smile, it’s what she did, she was always worrying about other people, so it felt right to continue that by helping other people.” 

A guest who was staying in one of the charities beds and got to taste one of Kaychanel’s cupcakes said: “The cupcakes where beautiful and very tasty - it’s always nice to have a treat.” 

Louise donated cupcakes in Kaychanels memory to Norwich Homeless Support.

Louise donated cupcakes in Kaychanels memory to Norwich Homeless Support. - Credit: Louise Willson

A spokesman for the charity said: “When people donate food items to us, it enables us to make sure we can keep people fed who don’t have the luxury of cupboards of food.” 

If you would like to donate to Norwich Homeless Support visit their website http://www.norwichhomelesssupport.co.uk/ 

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