A HIGH school closed for the day as teachers and pupils joined the crowds to say goodbye to a 12-year-old boy who died in a medical emergency.

Ryan Heffernan-Surplice was laid to rest at Southend Crematorium yesterday following his death at Shoebury High School on March 28.

Before the funeral, a guard of honour took place at the school, with Ryan’s mum, Catherine Heffernan, 39, thanks all those who took part for their “fantastic support”.

The family still do not know the exact cause of Ryan’s death, with emergency services only stating he suffered a “medical emergency” and an inquest has not yet been held.

However, the grieving mum said holding a funeral has helped the family find “some closure”.

She said: “It does help give us some closure being able to hold the funeral, but it was very difficult. At least now we know he’s left and not going to be sent from place to place any more.

“We now have to move on with the next chapter and we can start to grieve properly.”

Ryan’s funeral was held at Southend Crematorium yesterday at midday, before family and loved ones held a celebration of Ryan’s life at the Salvation Army in Shoebury.

A further celebration of Ryan’s life was then held at the Ambleside Social Club in Southend.

Catherine added: “It was fantastic and amazing. We had a guard of honour at the high school and primary school and along Delaware Road in Shoebury.

“It was a huge turn out and more than I expected, which is a lot of comfort to us at this time. I am so pleased to see how many people cared so much for him.

“All sorts of people came from teachers, to pupils and neighbours.

“After the service at the crematorium, we had the thanksgiving mass at the Salvation Army in Shoebury, it was really nice and very fitting for it all.

“We worked very hard on it.

“We had him home on Monday for a night and had a few hours with him and loved ones came to pay their respects too.

“It was nice to have him home for one night.”

Almost £17,000 has been raised by friends and supporters online for the family.

They joined together and took part in a special ride and balloon release on April 30 to remember him.

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