Fit and healthy young woman died after collapsing during shopping trip on her 20th birthday

The friends of a young woman who died after collapsing whilst out shopping on her birthday say they’ve been left “absolutely heartbroken.”

Brazil Walsh, known as Be, was described as “fit” and “healthy” and loved sport from horse riding to becoming a ‘master of judo’ – even gaining a blackbelt in the sport.

On April 24 she went out shopping in Leeds for the day to celebrate turning 20. Tragically, the trip ended with Be hospitalised in a coma, Yorkshire Live reports.

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Be, from Huddersfield, collapsed in a Harvey Nichols store before she was rushed to St James’ University Hospital in Leeds, a family friend said. She was later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where she was diagnosed with encephalitis.

The rare but serious brain inflammation attacked the memory and vision part of her brain. Family member Kirsty Marshall on behalf of Be’s mum Lilibeth Walsh, said: “After numerous tests and numerous doctors from not only Leeds but London and Oxford as well, it was finally diagnosed.

Brazil Walsh

“Unfortunately there is no cure and her brain could not cope any longer, the virus had spread throughout. In advanced stages, individuals may lose the ability to walk, as their muscles stiffen or spasm. There is progressive deterioration to a coma.

“In a matter of weeks Be went from being forgetful but able to talk, to being unable to communicate at all. Be was a fun loving, passionate, caring young woman. She was fit, healthy and a master of judo.”

Best friend Mia Cruickshanks said: “Brazil collapsed and was taken to hospital on her birthday. She spent almost five weeks fighting Dawson’s disease. On June 3 Brazil gained her angel wings.

“We (her best friends) are absolutely heartbroken and want to help give her the most amazing send off. Anyone who knows Brazil knows that she was the most amazing, beautiful, kind, funny and talented young lady who was loved beyond measure.”

Be’s family and friends are now planning to raise £1,000 for the 20-year-old’s funeral. They also want to raise awareness of brain inflammation in young people, adding: “we hope that this will help save even one life from this awful virus.”

To donate to the Go Fund Me in honour of Brazil Walsh click here.

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