Halifax man shares heartbreak at losing inspirational teenage daughter

Tributes have been pouring in from Halifax and beyond for a young woman who touched hearts across the world.

By sarah fitton
Monday, 7th March 2022, 2:54 pm

Libby Smith, who died last week just a few days after her 18th birthday, was a “bubbly and lively” teenager who was engaged to her childhood sweetheart, Leon Abott.

She grew up and lived in Hemsworth but had many friends in Halifax, where her dad Adrian Smith lives.

She enjoyed shopping, theme parks and eating out, and doted on her dog Teddy Bear - a white mini Pomeranian.

Libby with her fiance Leon

By studying from home, she had achieved beauty industry qualifications and, despite her young age, had been running her own beauty business.

Libby courageously battled juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) - a rare condition which she was diagnosed with when she was five.

She had undergone countless operations and, in July last year, a bone marrow transplant.

“Libby never complained,” said Adrian. “She just wanted to make sure everyone else was OK.”

Libby Smith with her dad Adrian Smith and his partner Sarah

“She was so brave,” added Adrian’s partner, Sarah Morrison. “Every day she was in pain but she always had a smile on her face.”

Libby was admitted to hospital at the end of January with breathing difficulties and was ventilated on life support four times. The last time she came off the ventilator was on her 18th birthday on February 25, when her family gave her “the best birthday possible” in the intensive care unit.

“She was a special girl,” said Sarah. “She had thousands of supporters including people from all over the world. She has touched so many people’s hearts.”

Libby’s parents - Adrian and Diane - together with their partners - Sarah and Mark - Libby’s sister Felicity, step-sister Alicia and fiance Leon are planning a funeral for Libby which will sum up their treasured girl - “beautiful and always positive regardless”.

Libby Smith with her mum Diane

A fundraiser has been launched to give her “the very best send off possible and the 18th birthday party she so deserved” and hundreds of donations have already been made. To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/lady-libbys-send-off .

Libby Smith