Couple's devastation after child's death in bath tragedy
A grieving couple have spoken of their devastation after the death of their precious little girl who was found lifeless in a bath.
Eleven-year-old Georgia Googan was discovered floating in the water at her Stoke-sub-Hamdon home.
Paramedics were unable to save her and she was later pronounced dead at Yeovil District Hospital.
Mum Samantha, 43, and stepdad Christopher Earl, 51, have been overcome with grief since the incident on Sunday, September 23. They said their distress was compounded when they became embroiled in a row over a wedding competition they won in March which would have seen them getting married last Thursday.
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The row erupted after the couple got married on a date not agreed as part of the terms of the competition. They said they moved the date forward because they wanted to lay Georgia to rest as man and wife.
Mr Earl recalled the day Georgia died. He said: “It was a typical Sunday. We went shopping in the morning and we watched DVDs. Georgia did her homework. At about 6.30pm or so, she went up for her bath as normal.
“It must have been just after 7pm when Samantha went up to check on her and found her floating in the bath. She dragged her out of the bath and we tried to resuscitate her.
“My friend called the police and ambulance who tried to resuscitate her. More paramedics came and took her to hospital with Samantha.
“It was a great shock. We didn’t expect it. It was a typical Sunday which turned into a nightmare.
“She was a bubbly little girl. Constantly smiling, constantly laughing. She was full of character, a beautiful kid. One minute she was there, the next she’s gone.”
The couple felt compelled to be married before Georgia’s funeral as she had been so excited about the prospect of the wedding and being a bridesmaid. They married in a hurried ceremony one week before Georgia’s funeral and not on the date agreed when they won the competition run by the Wedding Warehouse of Martock in conjunction with The Breeze radio station, formerly known in the Yeovil area as Midwest.
They did, however, wed at the agreed venue of the Hollies Hotel, Bower Hinton.
However, days after they were married, the couple said they discovered some of their prizes from the contest were going to be withheld.
They claimed they were treated “insensitively” when they visited the Wedding Warehouse to take back some “extras” they had bought themselves for their wedding.
They now fear the competition will not pay anything towards the cost of their wedding.
However, in a statement issued to the Western Gazette, a spokeswoman for the Wedding Warehouse said they understood the reasons behind the change of date and have offered to give the couple a party when they feel it is appropriate.
She said: “The Wedding Warehouse would like to give them the appropriate elements of the original prize in the format of an evening celebration of their marriage at a time when they feel ready.
“Our hearts go out to Samantha and Chris, and to the other members of their family. We cannot know how the loss of Georgia has affected them, and we hope that we will be able, when the time is right, help Sam and Chris mark their marriage and share some time with their family and friends.”
Mr and Mrs Earl thanked those who have supported them, in particular Castle Primary School and Stanchester Academy where Georgia was a pupil.
She died weeks after entering Year 7 at Stanchester, where staff and students wore Georgia’s favourite colour purple on Friday, October 19, to raise money for St Margaret’s Hospice in her memory. A total of £409.08 was donated to the charity at her parent’s request.