THE family of a Hereford teenager who died suddenly from a brain injury caused by a clot in her lungs are taking comfort from knowing that their daughter will now be helping other young people. 

Francesca Lewis, known as Fran, was only 19 when she died last month. 

Described as a spontaneous person who loved people and what life provided, the teenager was well known in the city for her love of dance.


Starting off at All Seasons Dance & Leisure in Friars Street on a Saturday morning, Fran's love of the art form continued at Nicola's School of Dance. 

At the time of her untimely death, she was studying dance at the University of Bolton and was particularly proud to have competed at a cheerleading competition at Blackpool Ballroom, where she picked up three trophies. 

"A lot of her tutors at university were also performing tutors, so she could see there were opportunities," said Fran's father, Paul. 

"We don't know what career path she would have taken.

"We are really proud of her, she was a great kid."

Mr Lewis added that Fran fell ill just two days before her death.  

"She said she felt giddy and sick so we said we were going to phone a doctor," he said. 

"Sadly, she suddenly had a seizure so we called for an ambulance.

"She came back from the seizure but she had a second one which caused a heart attack."

Fran was sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, but sadly she never recovered and died on June 25.  

Most of her organs sustained a lot of trauma and would not be suitable for donation. 

Ledbury Reporter: Fran Lewis' hair has since been donated to the Little Princess TrustFran Lewis' hair has since been donated to the Little Princess Trust (Image: Vee/Paul Lewis)

"I therefore asked about her hair and she [the consultant] said nobody had asked about that before," said Vee Lewis, Fran's mother.

"I explained about the Little Princess Trust (LPT). They contacted them and the LPT said how they needed the hair.

"The lady thanked me and said she didn't know it was possible."

The Hereford-based charity, based in Berrington Street, provide real hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.

Fran first donated to the LPT when she was 12, and her family hopes her the latest donation will ensure that she leaves a lasting legacy. 


Wendy Tarplee-Morris, who founded LPT, and Phil Brace, its chief executive, said: “We are so grateful for Francesca’s support over the years and knowing that her family want to continue helping us in her memory is incredibly moving.

“Francesca’s hair donations and fundraising allow us to provide beautiful real hair wigs to children and young people with hair loss and fund vital research that will lead to kinder and more effective treatments for all childhood cancers.  

“During this incredibly difficult time, we hope Francesca’s family and friends can take a small comfort in knowing that her wonderful gifts to us will continue to help others while also adding to her own legacy.”

Fran's funeral will be held next Wednesday (July 19) at 4.15pm at Hereford Crematorium, followed by a wake at Burghill Valley Golf Club.

Anyone who wishes to attend is asked to wear comfortable, colourful clothes. The family are not requesting any flowers, however donations can be made to LPT.