Lisa Watt was an inspirational mum and wife whose loss is truly devastating blow
The news of Lisa Watt's passing is a heartbreaking reminder of how cruel life can be.
My deepest condolences go out to the Toner and Watt families, especially Lisa's parents, her husband Noel and her three young children Aaron, Ellie and baby Daryl, who have now the devastating task of facing life without her.
I did not know Lisa personally for very long but, like many, I followed her touching story and appeal for help with sorrow and an eagerness to help in any way possible to make her final months of life as best they could be.
Lisa was a big fan of Westlife, and for her 31st birthday late last year her best friend Justine, who is my cousin, asked if I could help to arrange for a surprise visit from Shane Filan to her birthday party. Shane kindly got in touch to say he would have gladly made the trip to Tyrone but the date clashed with a family wedding, so he offered to send a video message to Lisa to wish her well. After much last-minute panic with technology, Justine and Noel, with the help of the staff at the Four Corners in Brackaville (Co Tyrone), made sure the message was shown on a big screen and Lisa was over the Moon. Her party took place just a few days before she went to America for some last minute treatment and during this time Justine and two of Lisa's friends rallied around to arrange a fundraiser in Dungannon which Lisa bravely attended on her return from the States. I was honoured to meet her in person on that occasion, and although exhausted, she managed to chat to a few well-wishers before making her way back home.
Lisa was truly inspirational in her battle and gracious in her suffering and it was beautiful to see photos of her on her wedding day, which was something she was determined to see through despite her illness.
My heart goes out to her precious children and it really does make me so sad to think of another young mother taken from her babies way too soon. My own mum was taken from us in her thirties as well and it is very hard to put into words how devastating it still is, even after all these years. A loss like this tears the soul out of a family and it takes a lot of strength from friends and family to see those early years through, as it is a hole that can never be filled, a sorrow so deep and a void that can never be replaced. Every birthday, every Christmas, every milestone, every first - even into adulthood - a mother's loss is felt on every family occasion.
There are no answers, and Lisa's closest friends and family will forever be riddled with questions as to why life dealt them such a cruel blow.
What they do have now are priceless memories of a darling daughter, mother, wife, sister and friend which will be clung to, cherished and remembered for the rest of their lives.