THE family of Annike Lawrence - who died the day after her 18th birthday - have paid tribute the independent and vivacious young woman.

Mystery still surrounds the Toothill teenager's death.

But her family believes she may have drowned in the bath after suffering an epileptic fit.

Annike had an inoperable but benign brain tumour, which was creating pressure on her brain and causing fits.

Her great-aunt Teresa Leighfield, 44, said: "She always refused to let it change her life. But now it's changed ours forever."

Annike had been celebrating her 18th birthday at the Woodlands Edge pub on March 7 with her aunt Rachael Luckett.

She stayed at her aunt's house that night and took a bath in the morning.

"After a while Rachael wondered where she'd got to," said Teresa. "She yelled through the door but Annike didn't answer, so she banged on it but she still didn't answer."

Rachael broke down the door to find her niece unconscious in the bath.

Despite efforts by paramedics, Annike was pronounced dead at the Great Western Hospital.

She leaves behind her mother Caroline and four younger sisters, Emmie, 16, Kayley, 15, Paige, nine, and Riah, eight.

"The children have really been brave through it all," said Caroline.

Emmie has taken Annike's death harder than her siblings, and was forced to mark her 16th birthday yesterday without her beloved sister.

Annike will be buried in the clothes she bought during a birthday shopping spree.

Her funeral will be held at 10.45am on March 26 at Toothill Church, followed by burial at Whitworth Road Cemetery.

A horse and carriage will carry her coffin and her family have requested lots of flowers to accompany it.

"Paige says she wants Annike to be like a princess at her funeral," said Caroline. "I think that's what she will always be to Paige."

Annike, described as intelligent and a bright spark by her great-aunt, was looking forward to a future in accounting.

"Despite her sensible career option she still loved the silly things in life and was a real party animal," said Teresa.

The former Greendown School pupil had recently moved into her own flat in Peatmoor and was enjoying life as an independent woman.

Caroline added: "She loved her sisters dearly and they will miss her deeply."