20-year-old student dies hours after complaining of headache at birthday party

Two hours after student Gabrielle Marsh was photographed celebrating at her 20th birthday party, the young woman lay in agony on the floor of her home, fighting for her life. The next day, she was dead.

Marsh had complained of a headache as she was enjoying some birthday drinks with friends earlier this month at home in Auckland, reported the New Zealand Herald.

The paper added that Marsh had prepared pina colada cocktails for her three friends - including a rum-free version for herself as she did not drink alcohol. A photo from the party released by her family showed Marsh's last moments - smiling and raising a toast with friends.

As her headache worsened, Marsh told her friends she needed to lie down and they reassured her they would all hang out again soon. No one could have imagined that that would be the last time they would see her alive.

Marsh's mother, Kathryn, called for an ambulance after seeing her daughter "throwing up and slurring her words", the New Zealand Herald reported. However, Marsh had lost consciousness by the time paramedics arrived.

The third-year student at Auckland University was placed on life support once she reached the hospital.

But her family was then faced with the difficult decision to take her off life support as hospital staff informed them Marsh had suffered a brain hemorrhage and was unlikely to survive.

She died the next day on Mar 6, her 20th birthday. While tragic, her untimely death saved the lives of six others as her organs were removed to be donated, reported The Daily Mail.

Mrs Marsh told the New Zealand Herald: "Gabby loved doing things for other people, and that was her biggest, most amazing gift."

A university scholarship was also started in Marsh's memory on crowd-funding page, GiveALittle. Since its inception on Mar 9, over $35,000 has been raised by at least 403 donors.

According to the official page, the "funds will be paid to a verified bank account of Gabby Marsh Scholarship on behalf of" Marsh.

"She was selfless, considerate and generous ... someone who impacted everyone she met," the page read.

A friend of Marsh, Ms Sumner Hutton, told news site Stuff: "Even though she's gone, there'll always be a little piece of her at the university."

Marsh leaves behind her mother and her siblings Jacob and Victoria. This is the second tragedy to strike the family, after losing their father 17 months ago to illness, said the New Zealand Herald.

According to the publication, the Marsh family hope to meet some of the people that had successfully received Marsh's organs.