HER life was filled with love and laughter throughout – despite the obstacles and challenges she faced.

So as her family and friends said their final farewells to teenager Eve Shepherd, her parents Jane and Mark asked for those attending the funeral to treat the service as a celebration of their only child's life.

This they say would have been what the 14-year-old would have wanted as the Birchwood High School pupil was always smiling – no matter what life threw her way.

Eve was like any other 14-year-old but her determination, bravery and infectious humour made her stand out from the crowd.

Born at 28 weeks on July 9, 2000, and weighing only 700g, Eve had the fight of her life ahead of her.

But time and time again she defied the odds.

Hailed as a miracle baby, it was believed Eve would not survive the first 24 hours but her resilience as a newborn was unstoppable.

Dad Mark, aged 47, said: “The doctors kept her alive which was a miracle.

“If we are being honest they thought she was only going to live a day but she never gave up and we never gave up.”

This strength and willpower is how Eve will be remembered as her loved ones packed into Padgate Methodist Church today, Monday, to pay tribute to the teen, who touched the lives of so many.

Hundreds attended the funeral with church wardens forced to open the adjoining hall to accommodate the many mourners who had turned up to pay their respects to Eve.

Eve's consultant from Manchester Children's Hospital Mike Rothera and her consultant from Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital David Albert also attended as well as staff from the Peter Pan Ward.

Some mourners – including her loving parents - wore deerstalkers to honour Eve’s love of the Sherlock franchise and her acting hero Benedict Cumberbatch, who also paid tribute to the teen - more here.

Wristbands created by one of her closest friends, Danny Moores, to raise money for Great Ormond Street could also be seen as mourners flooded into the church.

On each wristband it read ‘Eve – Gone but not forgotten’.

Eve died suddenly on February 1 at her home in Padgate after struggling with her breathing.

During her life, Eve has undergone more than 200 operations after needing a tracheostomy at just three months old.

She was only able to leave hospital on December 7, 2000 - around five months after she was born.

Despite these complications, Eve never let this get in the way of living life and managed to learn how to play the clarinet even with the breathing difficulties she faced.

The former Bruche primary pupil excelled at school and was on track to get top marks in her GCSEs - even though she was constantly playing catch up due to countless hospital visits.

Last year, Eve was able to have her tracheostomy tube removed for the first time.

Mark added: “It was quite a momentous occasion. We knew it wasn’t going to be a nice straight road.

“It was always going to be one step forward two steps back but she always kept going.”

Her parents described Eve as ‘unforgettable’ young woman and a self-confessed geek who dreamed of one day working in the media.

Her mum, aged 46, who was a full-time carer for Eve, said: “She was individual. She did Eve’s things and it didn’t matter what you said to her she would still do Eve’s things.

“She knew her own mind and it’s a shame more kids don’t feel strong enough and comfortable enough to be like Eve in that way.”

The family have requested no flowers but ask that generous donations instead be made to the Peter Pan ward at Great Ormond Street, Alder Hey Bereavement team and Warrington Animal Welfare.