The family of a young woman who was about to start a new school year has been left devastated by her sudden death after she suffered a brain haemorrhage and died in her sleep.
Zali June Breitkreutz died at her home in Townsville, northern Queensland, last Monday.
The eight-year-old was due to start year four at St Anthony’s Catholic College this month.
Zali is understood to have complained of a mild headache on the day of his death, but showed no other symptoms.
The cause of his death was determined to be a type of stroke known as intracerebral hemorrhage.
His devastated family is preparing for his funeral, which will be held at The Lakes Chapel at Morley’s Funeral Home in West End on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Zali June Breitkreutz (pictured), 8, died after suffering a brain hemorrhage in her sleep.
Zali’s father, Sean Breitkreutz, told Daily Mail Australia it was difficult to put into words the impact his daughter’s death has had on the family.
“I just don’t know what to say,” Mr. Breitkreutz said.
“It’s just a tragedy.”
Breitkreutz posted a heartbreaking Facebook post in the days after his daughter’s death to announce her passing, describing her as a “ray of sunshine.”
‘Zali was always singing, spinning around and making us laugh. Driving us crazy, making us angry and putting pressure on us were a daily routine,” she wrote.
‘The last few days have been a little darker (and much calmer) without your shining light, although we are lucky to still have your brother Tanner by our side.
“We have received so much love and support from our nearest and dearest, who have made the last few days a little easier.”
Zali aspired to be a teacher and was a big fan of the NRL team, the North Queensland Cowboys.
Her grandfather Paul uploaded a photo of her in a Cowboys jersey posing with star player Valentine Holmes.
The eight-year-old’s family was devastated by her death (pictured, from left, parents Sean and Courtney Breitkreutz, Zali and her brother Tanner)
Sean Breitkreutz (left) described his daughter (right) as a “ray of sunshine” in a heartbreaking social media post following Zali’s death.
Breitkreutz said Zali showed no signs of having any symptoms of the deadly disease.
“There was nothing you could do, there were no symptoms, just a slight headache,” he told the Daily Mail.
Those attending Zali’s funeral were asked to wear something sparkly to the service and a wake will be held at the Brothers Leagues Club in Kirwan from 5 p.m.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of bleeding in the brain tissue caused by high blood pressure.
The condition causes blood to be released into the brain, eventually causing a stroke.
The disease can be treated by removing a clot that forms in the brain, which reduces the amount of pressure that builds up.
However, the damage caused by the disease can be long-term.