Wednesday, 02 December 2015

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Tributes flood in for Carlisle transplant mum

A courageous liver transplant patient who defied medical odds to realise her dream of becoming a mum has died unexpectedly.

Tracy Paterson photo
Tracy Paterson with daughter Rianna Leah

The family and many friends of 33-year-old Tracy Paterson have been left heartbroken by her death.

In a poignant announcement, posted on the Facebook social networking website, her grieving mother Joyce confirmed that her daughter’s life support machine was switched off at 10.23am at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle on November 8.

The message praises Tracy’s courage and says her loss has left her family and friends “totally heartbroken.”

It adds: “I’d like to thank you all for your support these last few months.”

The tragedy has inspired a flood of online tributes from people across Carlisle who knew Tracy.

In 2005, the News & Star told her inspiring story, revealing how she had fulfilled her dream of become a mother despite being told four times by doctors that she should not have children.

At the age of 14, diagnosed with auto-immune disease, she was given just 24 hours to live after she became so ill that she fell into a coma.

Miraculously, a suitable donor was found and surgeons gave her a new liver. But they later warned her against becoming pregnant, saying the physical strain could have killed her.

Tracy, then living in Newtown Road, Carlisle, described her delight at finally becoming a mother, saying: “When the nurse told me that I was pregnant, I cried tears of joy.”

Her healthy daughter Rianna was born by caesarian section in July, 2005, at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary.

As she cradled her baby daughter, Tracy described her as “absolutely perfect.”

She also paid her own tribute to the mother of the 21-year-old Birmingham man whose liver she was given.

She said: “If that man’s mother hadn’t given her permission, I’d have died and my daughter would not be here now. I’ve been given 12 extra years and now I have a beautiful child. It’s hard work, but I’m so happy.”

Dozens of people have posted tributes on Facebook. Comments include:

  • Sharon Nanson Norman:“My heart goes out to you all. Tracy you were so very brave. There’s an extra special angel looking down on us all.”
  • Nicky Butler: “Don’t think I’ve met anyone like her – a true fighter.”
  • Meresa Lewis: “Tracy, you strong beautiful girl, our childhood memories will live forever in my heart!”
  • Claire Murray: “Tracy, you will never be forgotten. You were a true star.”
  • Katrina Tina Mckay: “So sad to hear this. You were one strong woman and we will have a night out in heaven and rave with Elvis.”

A funeral service will be held followed by a cremation at Carlisle Crematorium on Monday, November 19, at 11.40am. Her family have requested donations for the Ward 12 Patient Fund at Freeman Hospital.

  • Our sister paper, The Cumberland News, is running an organ donation campaign – urging people to sign up so, in the event of death, their organs could be donated to help others. Call 0300 1232323, text SAVE to 84118 or register at


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