A COLOURFUL funeral was held on Monday, August 15 to celebrate the short but full life of a young talented artist and musician from Dallowgill near Ripon who battled with liver disease all her life.
Naomi Lyth, who suffered from Alagilles Syndrome, received a live-donor liver transplant from her father Phil, at St James’ Hospital in Leeds in February, and there were plans to transplant a kidney from her mother, Patrice, which would have been the first dual live donor transplant in the NHS.
But sadly, although Naomi’s liver transplant was successful, complications following surgery resulted in her finally losing her battle for life, six months later.
“It was a privilege for me to be a live organ donor for Naomi,” said Mr Lyth
“And I would encourage everyone to support organ donation by registering as an organ donor and carrying a donor card and to please do it today, not tomorrow.
“This amazing procedure offers many people the gift of a new life.”
Paying tribute to their daughter, Naomi’s parents said her own problems magnified her already caring personality and meant that she had a knack of connecting with people with issues in their own lives. She was a great confidant and adviser to her friends, her siblings and her parents.
She used this skill with the Samaritans and even volunteered with charities including Harrogate Homeless Project and Henshaws while on dialysis three times a week. In 2009 she organised a fundraising walk in aid of the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation.
“Everywhere she went people warmed to her and were impressed by her gutsy determination and her spirit, from her friends in the Youth Hotels Association to the doctors and nurses on ICU & Ward 83 at St James’ Hospital in Leeds,” they said.
Naomi, a former pupil at St John Fisher’s RC High School in Harrogate got good exam results and an Art Prize. From there she did an Art Foundation course at Harrogate College and then spent three years at Cumbria Institute of the Arts in Carlisle, graduating with a 2:1 degree in Fine Art. Subsequently, she enjoyed her work for the YHA at Snowdon Ranger, Boggle Hole and Malham, and made some really good friends.
“She loved travelling and made trips by herself to Australia and Denmark without letting her problems hold her back,” said Mrs Lyth.
“We would like to thank everyone who has helped and been a friend to Naomi over the years, and are so grateful to all the doctors and nurses who have cared for her so selflessly and professionally over the past six months in St James’ Hospital, and indeed throughout her life.”
The funeral service at Pateley Bridge was conducted by Canon Vincent O’Hara, from Our Lady Immaculate RC Church, who quoted from the Book of Wisdom: “Length of days is not what makes age honourable, nor number of years the true measure of life. Understanding, this is man’s grey hairs, untarnished life, this is ripe old age. She has sought to please God, so God has loved her”.
A song written by Naomi called True Path was played after her funeral.
*To join the organ donor register online at www.uktransplant.org.uk or call 0300 1232323.
Donations in Naomi’s memory can be made to the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation at www.childliverdisease.org