Belfast Telegraph

Laura Burns' family want to make Christmas special for Lorcan (2) days after mum’s funeral

Keelan Burns and son Lorcan on Christmas Day
Keelan Burns and son Lorcan on Christmas Day
Family picture of Laura and Keelan with Lorcan
The couple on their wedding day
Victoria Leonard

By Victoria Leonard

The loved ones of a nurse who died earlier this month have described their "huge sorrow" at spending their first Christmas without her.

Laura Burns' family posted a moving video of her young son with his Christmas presents.

The footage shared by Laura's father John Brooker shows her husband Keelan Burns (29) carrying in their two-year-old son Lorcan, who has cerebral palsy, to see his Christmas presents.

Keelan gently holds Lorcan so he can touch the parcels - 11 days after the child was carried into church behind his mother's coffin at her funeral.

As the toddler smiles at the presents, his dad tells him: "Santa's been good to you, you've been a very good boy, haven't you?"

Laura (32), a nursing sister and ward manager at Antrim Area Hospital, developed a severe migraine while in bed with Lorcan earlier this month.

She lost consciousness and her heart stopped beating.

She was taken to the hospital where she worked for treatment, but her family were forced to make the heartbreaking decision to turn off her life support as her condition deteriorated.

On Christmas Day Mr Brooker, who delivered an emotional tribute to his daughter at her funeral, posted pictures of Lorcan in his dad's arms.

He wrote: "My dearest darling grandson Lorcan with number one son-in-law Keelan.

"Both excited on Christmas Eve with Lorcan in his PJs waiting to go to bed and see what Santa has delivered in the morning.

"With huge sorrow that Laura - darling daughter, loving sister, devoted mother, loving wife and friend/work colleague to so many - was taken from us, and cannot be with us all to enjoy Christmas, which she loved in so many ways."

In a Christmas Eve message Keelan admitted that it would be "the toughest Christmas Day ever".

He said: "Happy Christmas to everyone from myself and Lorcan.

"It's been the hardest Christmas Eve ever, and tomorrow will be the toughest Christmas Day ever, but I'm determined to make it a special Christmas for my little Lorcan, because that's what Laura would have wanted.

"Thank you to everyone who has helped us out over the last few weeks, the hardest of our lives.

"We know there are hard days ahead, but it's been made a little more bearable knowing there is so much love out there from our friends, family and colleagues. We can never thank you enough for your kindness.

"Going to bed tonight knowing Santa will be good to my boy when we wake because mummy had a word with him before she left us. We love you mummy and we miss you so much. We hope you're having fun up there."

On Christmas Day Keelan posted a video of a candle with the words: "In memory of all the loved ones who cannot be with us this Christmas."

And yesterday he posted a picture of Laura holding Lorcan during a Boxing Day walk last year, alongside the words: "Mummy and her pride and joy. Goodbyes hurt the most when the story was not finished."

A fundraising page set up in Laura's memory has raised more than £14,200.

The money will be split between the Buddy Bear Trust, which supports children with cerebral palsy and other motor disorders and has helped Lorcan, and Antrim Area Hospital ICU.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/laura-burns

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