By Jasmine Payoute

HADDON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — A community in Camden County is grieving after the unexpected death of a seventh-grade student. She was only 12.

On Monday, her family spoke with CBS3 about her and how she died.

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“What is your idea of perfect happiness? Knowing that you’re loved by someone,” Amelia Perry wrote.

Wise words were written by a seventh-grader who was taken from her family way too soon.

Amelia Perry was a seventh-grader in the Haddon Township School District who shined as bright as the sunflowers she loved.

The 12-year-old was only weeks into the school year when she passed away after being hospitalized due to an illness.

“I feel like we’re all really just a mess right now,” Derek Schofield, Amelia’s uncle, said. “But I think the impact will really hit [Amelia’s sister] and all of us when we all go back to our daily lives, and things are back to normal and she won’t be there.”

In a letter to district families, the superintendent said:

“The Camden County Department of Health confirmed that Amelia Perry, a seventh-grader at William G. Rohrer Middle School, was COVID positive at the time of her passing. Her case continues to be an active investigation in which other pre-existing conditions could have contributed to this tragic loss of life.”

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Amelia’s uncle, Derek Schofield, spoke on behalf of his heartbroken family only to Eyewitness News. He said Amelia’s official cause of death was complications from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes, combined with COVID-19 and pneumonia.

“Amelia was just the brightest little light, smartest girl, not a mean bone in her body,” Schofield said. “It’s just beyond words. There’s no describing the feeling. It’s just, it’s completely indescribable.”

Since her passing, Schofield said the community has wrapped its arms around his family.

The mother of Amelia’s best friend started a meal train fundraiser for anyone who would like to help.

“Support has just been huge, not just for my sister and her family, but my parents and me,” Amelia’s uncle said.

“We just really appreciate the outpouring of support from everyone,” Schofield said.

Amelia’s younger sister is in the fourth grade at Strawbridge Elementary. The district has made grief counselors available for students and staff. The Health Department said they are not currently contact tracing.

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There will be a viewing and mass open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at St. John’s Church in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Jasmine Payoute