FIRE TRAGEDY: Funds for Alexis' family at $11,500 and rising
UPDATE: THE community is digging deep for the Dean family after a horrific house fire claimed the life of 12-year-old Alexis Dean early this morning.
As well as the tragic death of their daughter, the Dean family suffered the loss of their home to the blaze on Monday morning.
A Go Fund Me campaign has already raised $11,535 in just over one day,
A friend of the family made a $3000 donation this afternoon, boosting the total past the halfway point to the campaign's $20,000 goal.
Visit www.gofundme.com/29f6849q to donate.
Jetts Gympie is also taking donated clothes, furniture and any other items to help the family replace some of their possessions.
The Royal Hotel in Gympie has announced it will put out tins to also collect monetary donations, and hopes to have the tins ready by this weekend.
EARLIER: GYMPIE'S Alexis Dean has passed away in hospital early this morning after a two-day struggle for life.
The parents of Alexis Dean requested the following statement be issued today, 29 June 2016, after their daughter passed away in the early hours of the morning at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital:
"We would like to thank the community for the support we have received during this very difficult time," they said.
"We are grateful that Alexis was able to donate her organs and give life to others, and this was in keeping with how she always wanted to help others.
"We ask respectfully to now be left to grieve in private."
Alexis was pulled from the burning home on Noosa Rd just before 4am on Monday but had received severe burns to her upper body and smoke inhalation.
She was airlifted from Gympie at 1pm that day.
A Go Fund Me account was established to help her family.
The thoughts and prayers of the Gympie Times are with the Dean family at this most devastating time.
EARLIER: CRITICALLY injured Gympie girl Alexis Dean was clinging to life late yesterday at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane.
A hospital spokeswoman described her condition as "still critical" and said doctors did not expect that to change for the time being.
Alexis, 12, suffered extensive burns and smoke inhalation when her Noosa Rd home was consumed by fire in the early hours of Monday.
Firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus and safety gear forced their way into the blazing home to find the girl, who appeared to have been overcome by thick smoke and heat.
She was taken to Gympie Hospital about 4am and was airlifted to Brisbane from the Archery Park helipad about 1pm. Her devastated family, including her mother, who is believed to be at her side in Brisbane, found strong support from Gympie people yesterday, especially from family friends.
Chloe Whish-Wilson told The Gympie Times of the role of social media in bringing the family's supporters together.
She and Georgia Rose Donachie are friends with Alexis' sister Kara and said the news had hit a lot of people very hard.
"I can't believe it happened," Georgia said yesterday. "One day everything was great and the next day, everyone's absolutely devastated. It's horrible."
Chloe urged anyone touched by the tragedy to help the family cope in practical ways, following the destruction of their home and everything in it.
"We haven't heard from the family. Everything we know about the situation has been online. That's why we're letting people know there's a Go Fund Me page and anything you can give will help."
Jetts Gympie has set aside a space to store all donations for the family.
A close friend shared her emotional message to Facebook in a tribute to Alexis.
"She's been there every step of the way, she's held me when I've cried, given me a reason to live and without her I wouldn't be the same person I am today," she wrote.
Monetary donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/29f6849q