Widespread sadness has been expressed following the sudden and untimely death of teenager Kirsty Rebecca Jane Clarke on January 30, 2017, at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen.

Kirsty was born on February 18, 1998, the eldest daughter of Sharon and Alan and older sister of Zara. Kirsty was educated at Moat Primary School, Lisnaskea, Lisnaskea High School, Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen, and South West College, Enniskillen.

Kirsty was six when she became an insulin dependent diabetic and when she was 10 a virus attacked her heart requiring a heart transplant in 2010 which was carried out in Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Kirsty never let her illnesses dictate her lifestyle and she achieved a lot in her short life time. She represented Northern Ireland at the Transplant Games where she won a silver medal for swimming. She went to America on two occasions with Project Common Bond, and was chosen to present the Queen with a bouquet of flowers at the opening of the South West Acute Hospital.

Kirsty was a senior member of the Girls’ Friendly Society, was a keen bowler with Aghavea Bowling Club, and played the accordion with Lisbellaw Accordion Band. Kirsty loved art and craft work in which she won many prizes and was an avid country music fan. 

Kirsty was a very shy girl who became very well known and respected throughout the county and beyond due to her involvement with Heartbeat NI following her heart transplant. Kirsty’s dream was to become a children’s cardiac nurse. 

Kirsty’s charm and quiet personality endeared her to everyone she met. She bore her illnesses with great courage, dignity and humility. Kirsty was an inspirational young woman who faced all of her challenges with a positive attitude. 

Following a service in Aghavea Parish Church, Kirsty was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery on February 2, 2017. Kirsty is survived by her parents Sharon and Alan, younger sister Zara, grandmother Lily, aunts, uncles and the extended family circle. 

The funeral arrangements were by Dowler’s Funeral Services, Lisnaskea.

On Monday evening, March 20, Kirsty was remembered at a memorial service at Lisnaskea High School.