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Wales Online
Wales Online
Phil Norris & Lucy Marshall

Fun-loving woman, 20, died after collapsing while shopping to celebrate her birthday

A young woman collapsed while out shopping on her birthday and died weeks later. Brazil Walsh had gone to the shops as she celebrated turning 20 and her death has left her family and friends heartbroken.

Brazil, who was known as Be, was described as fit and healthy and was also a keen horse rider, YorkshireLive reports. The Huddersfield woman collapsed in Harvey Nichols in Briggate, Leeds, on April 24, 2022.

She was taken to St James' University Hospital, a family friend said. Be was later transferred to Leeds General Infirmary where she was diagnosed with encephalitis and she died on Friday, June 3.

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. 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."

Brazil Walsh was described as passionate and fun-loving (Lilibeth Walsh)

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 money for LGI Neurosciences who looked after Be 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."

Brazil Walsh died at Leeds General Infirmary on Friday, June 3 (Lilibeth Walsh)

Be's former horse riding teacher is hosting a fundraising event on June 25 at the stables where Be used to train. Trainer Emma Louise said: "I was her horse riding instructor at Bradshaw Road stables and riding school for many years. She was part of the stables family. She ended up pursuing her judo to a high level.

"We are absolutely heartbroken and want to help give her the most amazing send off. We also want to donate some money to charity.

"We are hosting a fundraiser ride. We want to see as many faces as possible on foot or on horse back. We will be taking collection buckets."

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