A family has been left ‘heartbroken’ after the death of a ‘caring’ and ‘talented’ young mother.

Courtney Kilvert, 23, who lived on Portland, tragically died in Wyke Regis, Weymouth on Friday, October 4.

She has left behind her two-year-old son, Zen Richard Kilvert, who is being cared for by her mother.

Her family, who have been left devastated by her death, have paid tribute to the amazing woman she was.

A fundraiser has been launched to pay for the cost of the funeral.

Courtney’s mother Selena Walton, 44, from Wyke Regis, said: “She was a caring, loving and funny person – she was hilarious.

“She had recently enrolled at college to do her maths and English because she wanted to go to university to study paleontology.

“She loved nature and fossil hunting. She was a beautiful person, she had a heart of gold and a lovely soul, it’s such a shame, such a wasted talent.

“We’re heartbroken, it feels like a part of my soul has been ripped out. I miss her massively, it doesn’t feel real, I keep thinking she’s going to walk through the door, back to her normal happy self.

“Everyone will have a level of guilt, like we should have done more, or could have done more.”

Courtney’s older sister Amy-Jayne Kilvert said it feels like she’s living in a ‘bad dream’.

She said: “We can’t believe it. It’s like we’re on another planet.”

She explained that Courtney’s younger brother Leighton has been ‘hurt hard’ and is ‘extremely upset’ by his sister’s death.

Miss Walton, who is now raising Zen, said: “She loved her son. She was obsessed with him. He was her world – when he was first born, she didn’t want anyone to look after him, she wanted to prove she could do it all on her own.

“He cried for the first two weeks after her death, he was wondering where she was, but he’s starting to settle in.

“He’s too young to understand what’s happening.”

The family has launched a fundraiser to help pay for the cost of Courtney’s funeral.

Miss Walton said: “It will cost us between £5,000 and £6,000 and if we have any money left over it will go into a trust fund for Zen for when he’s older.”

The fundraiser has already raised more than £1,500.

Miss Walton said: “It’s tragic (her death), but lots of people who knew Courtney are coming together to help raise money for her funeral.

“I would like to thank everyone and anyone who has contributed so far.”

Courtney’s funeral service will take place at All Saints Church in Wyke Regis on Thursday, November 14 at 11.30am followed by interment at Portland Cemetery and a gathering at the Wyke Smugglers.

Miss Walton added: “I’d like to thank the Wyke Smugglers who will be holding the wake free of charge, our family are extremely grateful.”

To donate to the fundraiser www.gofundme.com and search Funeral for ‘Courtney Kilvert’.