TRIBUTES have poured in for a "happy, caring, sassy and beautiful" teenager with an infectious laugh who has died aged 18.
Zara Ahmed, called ‘princess’ by her mum Asefa and ‘Dibbrie’ by her father Kaleem which meant nut – his ‘little nut' – died suddenly. She was living with diabetes; the young woman had been diagnosed with type one diabetes at 11 months old.
Zara undertook a BTEC diploma in forensic studies at Llandrillo College before securing at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) studying sciences. She had hopes of becoming a forensic scientist.
The former Emrys Ap Iwan pupil, who was from the Kinmel Bay area, was proud of her Muslin faith and had written on Facebook – "I'm taken..........by Allah innit!".
She was close to her brother Zak – they were best friends. In May, Zara attended the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena when it was attacked by a suicide bomber. Despite being deeply affected and during a time of distress, she held on to her faith.
A family member said: “Zara had a wonderful, mischievous sense of humour and a giggle that was infectious. She was always smiling and nothing made her happier than sitting back and singing along with her favourite singer Ariana Grande.
“She was deeply affected by that event at the Manchester Arena. She refused to allow anyone to use her religion as a reason to hurt others and her prayers were said for all those affected, regardless of faith, colour, race or religion.
“Losing a child is a parent’s worst nightmare and no amount of words can capture the loss and grief that Zara’s parents Asefa and Kaleem are feeling at this moment. Zara was their first born child and from the moment she was born their mission was to make her the happiest and most loved child on earth.
”Her Dad called her Dibbrie which meant nut – his ‘little nut' and her mum always called her princess Zara and has her named saved like that in her phone. Zara only has one brother called Zak. Their bond was soo strong. She would have him running around for her and he did it all with great pleasure. Most teenagers would not be seen with there siblings but their bond was different and adored.
”She was so close to her friends but would never ever miss a family event.”
Following her diagnosis with diabetes, Zara, who supported her Llandrillo Rugby Team, began a daily routine of insulin injections and careful management of a strictly controlled diet.
Zara’s family are keen to raise awareness about diabetes.
A spokesperson from LJMU said Zara had only been at the university for a short time, but already she had made a positive impression with her enthusiasm and excitement for her studies.
Lee Cummins, headteacher at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan Emrys Ap Iwan, added: “'We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Zara. Zara was an exceptional young lady who was a pleasure to have in the school. She had such a sense of fun and was very committed to her own learning.
“She always had a smile on her face and time for a conversation. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.”
Zara’s parents want to thank the hundreds of people who turned out for their daughter’s funeral and for the many messages of sympathy and support. Any donations made in Zara’s memory will be gratefully received by Diabetes Research UK.