Belfast Telegraph

Legacy of volcano trek physio, 22

A young physiotherapist who died after suffering extreme altitude sickness on a volcano trek in Indonesia has donated nine organs.

Lisa Orsi, 22, from Derry city in Northern Ireland, was pronounced dead in the early hours of this morning after extensive transplant surgery in Singapore General Hospital.

Her parents Dennis and Sharon were at her bedside.

"Lisa was a bubbly, caring person whose infectious joy for life endeared her to so many people. We take comfort in their prayers and well-wishes at this time," the couple said.

"Even in this dark hour we can look to take solace from knowing that even in her death Lisa's generosity has brought new life to others and given them a second chance."

The law in Singapore makes it compulsory for people who die suddenly to have their organs donated unless they are Muslim or have expressly wished otherwise.

Ms Orsi was described as a fit, healthy young woman who enjoyed athletics and gaelic football after she took up sports since moving to Derry from Donegal at the age of five.

After a trek up a volcano on East Java last month, a popular tourist route, Ms Orsi collapsed in the shower suffering extreme altitude sickness and quickly fell into a coma.

Medics in Indonesia and Singapore spent the last two weeks initially trying to save her life before turning their attention to using her organs for donation.

Ms Orsi was a physiotherapist and half way through a two year contract at Bright Vision Hospital in Hougang and had been playing Gaelic football with the Singapore Gaelic Lions in her first year in the city.

In a statement to the Press Association, Ms Orsi's parents added: "The medical team at Siloam Hospital, Surabaya, who initially treated Lisa and the staff at Singapore General Hospital have provided excellent medical care. They have treated Lisa with great compassion and we will be forever appreciative of their efforts."

"We brought Lisa back to Singapore as it is a place that is so very dear to her heart. She has always spoken of it as a second home and we have been so grateful to receive a homecoming welcome from her Singapore brothers and sisters.

"Lisa has been very fortunate to be surrounded by friends both from her working life and her club-mates from the Singapore Gaelic Lions. Gaelic Football has been a childhood passion for Lisa and we are overwhelmed by all that her GAA family have done for her."

The Orsi family are now making arrangements for Ms Orsi's repatriation and funeral in her home city, possibly next week.

"As a family, our next eventual task is to arrange a smooth repatriation. Therefore, we would ask that you keep Lisa in your thoughts and prayers, while respecting our space and privacy at this time," they said.

Ms Orsi had been due to be in Abu Dhabi this weekend where the Singapore Lions are due to play.

The Orsi family said it would be impossible to thank everyone personally who has helped over the past two weeks.

"However, as a family, we would like to thank her best friends, Eve King and Sinead McElhinney, the clubs, schools and so many others at home in Ireland for their spontaneous outpouring of love and support. This includes her childhood school, Saint Patrick's and St Brigid's College, and Salford University alumni," the parents said.

The grieving couple paid special tribute to Ms Orsi's boss Limin Yong, who they said gave them so much guidance and assistance.

They also thanked Irish politicians Pat Ramsey MLA and Pat "The Cope" Gallagher MEP and Irish consular staff in both Indonesia and Singapore.

"Their help has been invaluable and we thank them for their ongoing efforts to assist Lisa and the Orsi family," the couple said.

The family also spoke highly about the work of the Gaelic Athletic Association in Asia and at home for helping to fund raise and offering any other support to them over the last two weeks.

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