As word spread of the death of 6-year-old Emma Splan of Norwalk from flu-related complications on Sunday, the community has responded with sympathy and help for the grieving family.
Known as a vibrant young girl who was loved dearly by her parents, Christy Pugh and Dave Splan, Emma was described over and over again as always smiling, laughing and enjoying life.
On a GoFundMe page set up to help her family deal with costs associated with the sudden loss, family and friends said it was a loss that will be felt for eternity.
Started with a goal of $20,000, the goal was quickly raised to $50,000 when hundreds of people responded, donating more than $45,000 by Tuesday afternoon.
Many who did not even know Emma, donated money to help the family and offered words of encouragement: “Emma was a very special little girl who made everyone around her feel special too,” one person wrote.
While another wrote: "May the memory of your sweet daughter always give you some peace."
Grief counselors were on hand at Columbus Magnet School where Emma was a first-grader to help students deal with her loss.
The school also received a deep cleaning with a "stronger" cleaner before students returned on Tuesday, according to school officials.
Emma was the second child to die from flu-related illness, a New Cannan boy died last month.
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