The grandmother of a woman who was found dead at an elite Sydney school has explained the private battle the family has endured behind-the-scenes.
Lilie James, 21, was found dead with severe head wounds in the gym bathroom of Sydney’s private St Andrew’s Cathedral School on Wednesday night.
It’s understood she had ended a five-week relationship with colleague Paul Thijssen, 24, before she was killed.
He called police hours after the horrific attack, telling them where to find Lilie’s body.
The tragedy has left Lilie’s friends and family shaken.
Her grandmother Barbara Adelt, spoke with 2GB radio host Ben Fordham on Monday,
revealing it was the second tragedy the family was battling.
“I’ve got a daughter and she’s been in hospital for 10 weeks and she’s very sick,” she said.
“I have to [stay strong]. I’ve got no choice here.”
Ms Adelt described Lilie as “so kind” and said she “had a lot of fun” in the short time she had.
“I remember the day she was born, bright as a button coming out and never stopped since then,” she said.
The matriarch said she is trying to “stay strong” for the rest of the family.
“Some people come into this world – I think they are so special, and they don’t stay long, and I think that was my granddaughter,” she said.
Emotional scenes played out at the on Monday morning as students returned to class for the first time since the waterpolo coach’s death.
A special assembly was held in Ms James’s honour and dozens of flowers piled up at the schools entrance to pay tribute to the young woman.
Her family issued a statement last week thanking the community for their support following the tragic incident.
“She was vibrant, outgoing, and very much loved by her family and friends,” the statement said.
“We are tremendously grateful for the support of our community at this difficult time.”