Mourners at Aimee Brady funeral told 'more organ donors would be a fitting legacy'
Schoolgirl Aimee Brady was described as a "strong, brave and funny girl" at her funeral yesterday.
The 11-year-old, from Magherafelt, Co Londonderry, died in hospital on Wednesday after a nine-month wait for a heart transplant.
Aimee, who was treated at the Clark Clinic in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, spent the last months of her life in treatment, monitored round the clock by specialist medics.
Survived by her parents Valerie and Stephen and brother Taylor, the schoolgirl was laid to rest after her funeral service at St Swithin's Parish Church in Magherafelt yesterday afternoon.
Archdeacon of Armagh Rev Canon Terry Scott told mourners: "Aimee was just 11 years old. Yet in her short life, despite all its challenges and difficulties, she touched and made a difference to the lives of so many others.
"She was a strong, brave and funny girl, full of life and spirit.
"She had open heart surgery three times by the age of six - displaying a courage that was an example to us all.
"Though her illness made her weak, she, like every other little girl, just wanted to be outside playing with her friends and having fun. Even when she was having a bad day she would put others first."
Rev Scott told mourners how Aimee had enjoyed playing with her dolls, as well as baking, making pizzas, and following football and Formula 1.
He spoke too of Aimee's "soulmate" - her pet dog, Cookie.
"Cookie was her dog and they remained soulmates throughout her journey," said Rev Scott.
"Cookie seemed to sense how special she was and, Valerie tells me, Aimee so loved to dress Cookie up, and time and time again he let her.
"Aimee spent the last nine months of her life in the Clark Clinic, still putting others first by playing with and supporting the other children who came through the clinic's doors, helping them on their way."
Rev Scott told how the schoolgirl had continued to wait in hope for an organ donor to be found, "but sadly and tragically never got the call she and her family so desperately longed and hoped for".
He said Aimee, a pupil at Spires Integrated Primary School in her home town, was "a light in the lives of all who knew her", and he encouraged people to sign up to the organ donation register.
"To spare other families the heartbreak and pain Aimee's family are going through would be a fitting legacy indeed," he said.
Rev Scott added: "I know the family wish to thank the doctors and nurses who looked after Aimee throughout her journey - they were quite simply outstanding in the way they cared for her.
"Valerie and Stephen couldn't have wished for a better daughter - she was amazing, and they and the whole family circle loved her deeply and are rightly so very proud of her."