A 5-year-old reportedly died after choking on one of her favorite snacks while in the backseat of her family’s car during a drive home.
Samantha Lennon fetched up her daughter Imogen from swimming lessons on Jan. 16. On the way back to their home in Canowindra, in Central West New South Wales, Australia, she gave her a deli frankfurt to eat.
While Imogen was happily talking to her mother from the backseat, she suddenly began choking. Lennon immediately called an ambulance. But she was told it was too far away to make it in time, so she rushed Imogen to a hospital with the help of a bystander, Daily Mail reported. Despite their efforts to reach on time, Imogen later died at the hospital.
“To make sense of such a tragic loss in such a way is inconceivable, there are no words that could accurately describe how shattered Imogen’s family are,” family friend Tamara Harrison wrote in a GoFundMe set up to help the family financially. “It is impossible to imagine life without Imogen.”
Harrison also said deli frankfurts were one of Imogen’s favorite snacks after swimming lessons. Imogen was the youngest child. She leaves behind parents Samantha and William, older brothers Hayden and Bailey, sister Tamzin, and the other member of their extended family.
The fundraiser, which will help her family cover funeral costs, has raised $21,297 of its $25,000 goal since it launched on Saturday. Harrison said the Lennons are “true Aussie battlers” who are always ready to help others. “They would give the shirts off their backs, without a second thought should someone be in need,” she wrote.
“The burden of trying to find the money to pay for Imogen’s final resting place and a fitting celebration of her short life is a burden that I would like to remove for this family, while they deal with such an unthinkable tragedy,” she added.
People also expressed their grief online for the child. “I’m so terribly sorry, such a gorgeous sweet girl, sending you all love and thoughts,” one friend wrote.
Another added, “We are so sorry, Samantha and Bill. We only met Immy once, but she was so bright, bubbly and beautiful we’ll remember her always that way.”
“A brief meeting of you, little Imogen… you have left your footprint on my heart,” another said.
Imogen will be farewelled at a local church on Saturday. Mourners have been encouraged to wear “bright colors” to the service in her memory.