Hundreds farewell Wellington woman

02:55, Feb 14 2011
Sarah Carter, 23, of Wellington, died last week in Thailand while on a three-week holiday with two close friends. They became seriously ill after eating food they bought in a market.

Hundreds have gathered to pay tribute to a friend, a daughter and a sister, as Sarah Carter was farewelled at a church in east Auckland this afternoon.

Carter died of food poisoning on Waitangi Day, while holidaying in Thailand with two friends.

Emma Langlands, who survived the poisoning was well enough to travel back to New Zealand over the weekend and attended the funeral.  The third friend, Amanda Eliason is still being treated in a Chiang Mai hospital.

Howick’s All Saints Anglican Church was packed as mourners said their goodbyes to the 23-year-old. 

Her coffin was draped in pink, white and purple flowers and the ceremony featured some of her favourite songs, including Pure Shores by All Saints.

Take Me To The Clouds Above by LMC and U2 played as the casket was carried through the church’s graveyard by her mother, father, brother and sister.

Friends and family spoke of a young woman who they described as someone “shining brightly on all our lives”.

Media were asked to stay outside the church.

The three friends suffered food poisoning after eating at a food market near their hotel.

Just days later, after all three were admitted to hospital, Carter died from a possible bacterial infection that spread to her heart.

Meanwhile, investigations are continuing in Thailand where officials expect a report into the tragedy to be ready tomorrow.

As well as the Centre for Disease Control, the Chiang Mai Public Health Department was carrying out an investigation and the embassy had requested a copy of the findings. .

A New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman said the embassy in Thailand had been in close contact with the families involved.

A memorial service will be held in Wellington, where Carter studied and worked, on Thursday.


sarah carter
Pallbearers carry Sarah Carter's casket at her funeral today.

Fairfax Media