Saturday, August 8, 2020

Tributes to Lucia who ‘laughed at her challenges’ as she passes away after fourth liver transplant

Transplant News Sharing // News from Source

Lucia Quinney Mee was the youngest ever recipient of the BEM

Paul McClean, principal of Cross and Passion College, described Lucia Quinney Mee as “an inspirational young woman who kind of laughed in the face of her challenges”.

She passed away at King’s College Hospital in London at the weekend, aged 20.

Lucia was just eight when she suddenly suffered acute liver failure and was rushed to Birmingham in late 2007 for a transplant. Unfortunately she needed further transplants in 2009 and 2015, with the fourth just five months ago.

In 2015 Lucia set up the ‘Live Loudly Donate Proudly’ campaign to raise awareness of organ donation.

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She later competed at the British Transplant Games and returned to school, had lunch with the Queen and became the youngest ever recipient of the British Empire Medal (BEM), at age 18.

“Lucia was so grateful for the life that she had been given from her organ donors and their families and she made it her mission in life to give back to them, to live her own life to the fullest and she embodied that by founding and promoting her own campaign: Life loudly, donate proudly,” Mr McClean told Q Radio.

“Lucia’s approach to life was that she was fun, aspirationally, she enjoyed everything.

“But equally she openly and vigorously promoted young people of all ages and all this to have open and honest conversations about organ donation.”

She was humble, honest, and lovable, he said, and equally at home having tea with the Queen as she was staying behind in school and doing the cleaning up.

After receiving the BEM in 2017, Lucia said: “The main message is that if people would agree to give their organs, to tell loved ones and relatives. I hope it’s a conversation started for people.”

Ultimately, she had hoped to go on and study medicine.

Belfast Presbyterian minister Steve Stockman has a house in Ballycastle and his daughters came to know Lucia as children because she was a close neighbour.

“The Stockman hearts are broken today as our dear friend Lucia Quinney Mee passed away,” he said on his blog, describing her as “like a soul mate to our daughters” and an extra daughter in his family.

He added: “Through 12 years and those first three livers, Lucia has lived the most incredible, inspirational life.”

The cleric also recalled that in 2016 she organised a gala dinner for transplant charities, noting that her speech at the event was “so mature and articulate”.

The RVH Liver Support Group described Lucia on Facebook as “a courageous, resilient, mischievous, loving young woman with an innate zest for life that was made even stronger by her deep gratitude to the strangers who restored her to that life”.

Eilish McAteer was one of over 70 who added their own tributes. “May God rest her gentle soul and wrap his loving arms around those left to mourn her death,” she said. “Thinking of you all.”

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