Belfast Telegraph

Family donate organs of mum who died after collapsing at GAA game

Siobhan McVey (second from right) with her husband Aiden and children (from left) Niall, Louise, Paul, Declan and Catherine
Siobhan McVey (second from right) with her husband Aiden and children (from left) Niall, Louise, Paul, Declan and Catherine
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A mother-of-five who died after taking ill while attending a son's GAA match will be laid to rest today.

Siobhan McVey (56) from The Loup collapsed at a game between her local St Patrick's club and Slaughtneil on Sunday.

One of her three sons, Declan, was playing at The Loup's home ground, just beside the family home.

The grandmother-of-two suffered an aneurysm and a cardiac arrest, collapsing beside her husband of 33 years Aiden and their daughter Catherine.

Despite frantic efforts to save Mrs McVey, including the use of a defibrillator, she died later in Antrim Area Hospital.

Her family made the decision to donate her organs, which allowed them to spend two precious days with her.

Mrs McVey (nee McLernon) had worked as an assistant at Discovering Kids Playgroup in The Loup since its formation in 2001.

The playgroup paid tribute on social media to her, saying she would be remembered as "a much loved colleague and friend" and someone who "brought so much joy and happiness to all that have had the opportunity to know her".

Her husband is principal of Tannaghmore Primary School in Lurgan.

Mrs McVey's eldest son Paul told the Irish News his mother used her life in the service of others and her final act of giving was to allow three other people another chance to live by donating her kidneys and pancreas.

He said her death had "left a massive hole in our family" and had been a huge shock, as there was no indication that his mother had been unwell.

He added: "She had a real zest for life and she liked simple things.

"She loved nature - watching the birds and looking out at the flowers in the garden.

"She never asked for anything.

"What made her happy was when we were happy. The only indulgence she had was getting her hair done every Saturday.

"She never smoke or drank, she walked every day."

He added: "She gave us the best childhood ever.

"We are so blessed because of her and daddy's guidance throughout our lives.

"She taught us values of respect and good manners, and she was devoted to her faith, which she embedded in us."

St Patrick's GAC, of which Mrs McVey was a respected member, also paid tribute to her on social media.

"Siobhan was a loyal supporter and attended all our matches, both home and away," it said.

Patsy McGlone, SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, knows the McLernon and McVey families, and said: "The local community was very shocked to learn of Siobhan's sudden death.

"Our hearts go out to Aiden and the extended families who are very well-known and respected in the area."

Mrs McVey is survived by her husband and Paul, Declan and other son Niall, Catherine and other daughter Louise (Campbell), grandchildren Cieva and Jack, and extended family circle.

Her funeral will take place this morning with 11am Requiem Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Moortown followed by interment in the cemetery at the Church of St Patrick, The Loup.

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