Swimming to the surface

Lucia has managed Live Loudly Donate Proudly with energy, grace and wisdom since starting the campaign in September 2015.

Her last blog was from the Liver Intensive Therapy Unit of King’s College Hospital, London, two and a half months after her fourth liver transplant. Lucia, with everyone, was working towards her recovery.

What follows is a message that we, Lucia’s sister Alice and her parents Rachel and David, shared on Sunday 24 May 2020.

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“Lucia was given a beautiful gift by two of the new friends we made in the Liver Intensive Therapy Unit, in King’s. It is a large framed picture, made even more meaningful to us by the context in which we have lived for more than the last five months.

The picture is a silhouette of a swimming girl in snorkel and flippers.The silhouette is filled by a kaleidoscope of colour set on a plain white background. From the tip of her snorkel tumbles a cascade of bubbles in an equal myriad of colours. The girl, we decided, is swimming upwards towards an invisible surface.

It was a 21st birthday present for Lucia or, as the givers said, for any day before that if it could give her encouragement. In the light of our conversations with Lucia and the consultants, we started her birthday early. The picture was unveiled on Friday. Lucia was clearly impressed so we hung it on the wall in front of her bed.

Lucia died this morning, Sunday, 24th May, four days before her birthday. She swam mightily, bravely and gently, breaking the surface at 10.45am. Rachel, Alice and I were by her side and missed nothing. We have the support of an outstanding team who have worked with Lucia, with dedication and love as she made her way through stormy waters.

Lucia, through almost 21 years has, as she promotes in the title of her organ donation awareness campaign, lived most loudly. Her joy, energy, dedication and compassion have been exuberant in their eloquence. She leaves us her lifetime’s trail of colourful bubbles to chase and to play with.

Due to the manner of and reason for her death, Lucia was not able to be an organ donor. It is left to the rest of us to make that proud option and talk it through with our families and friends. Some who did just that have given us the last twelve privileged years with Lucia.

So, as Lucia might say at the end of her blogs, you sign up, Lucia’s signing off.

Much love, xx”

There will be a short service in Honor Oak Crematorium, Camberwell, on Wednesday 3rd June, at 4pm.

Due to the times we are in, only ten people can attend. There will be opportunity for others to join us through a live streaming and a web link will be posted here as soon as possible.

In due course, and when it becomes safer for all of Lucia’s friends to travel and gather together, we intend to host a more appropriate and inclusive celebration in Ballycastle, Lucia’s home town in Northern Ireland.

We are deeply grateful for love shared with Lucia and shown to us all through the hardest of times. We trust the energy and passion that shone throughout Lucia’s life will now show us all a way forward.

Live Loudly, Donate Proudly.