West Belfast family left devastated by sudden death of much-loved mother (42)
THE family of a west Belfast mother who died suddenly from a catastrophic brain bleed have told of how her gift of organ donation has so far helped four children.
Christine Rose Nolan (42) collapsed at her home on Shaw's Road on Friday.
The mother-of-three, whose children are aged 24, 18 and 16, had been on a video call with her eldest when the devastating brain bleed struck.
She was resuscitated at home by paramedics before being taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she was admitted into the intensive care unit.
The west Belfast woman was placed on a ventilator and over the weekend a series of brain tests were carried out.
On Monday evening, Christine's family were told there was no hope of recovery.
Christine's death came 17 years after her 49-year-old mother, Alice also died from a brain bleed.
Her blood relatives are now to be screened for Neurovascular injury - damage to the major blood vessels supplying the brain, brainstem, and upper spinal cord.
Christine carried an organ donation card and her family ha been told that, so far, four children have received her heart valves, while others will also benefit from her pancreas, liver and kidneys.
Speaking to The Irish News, Christine's sister-in-law, Aisling Gray said the loss of the 42-year-old had "knocked every one of us".
"Christine lived for her kids. We had to go and tell her 16-year-old. It was a soul-destroying thing. To tell a child that, I have never watched heartache like that. She was all they had. She was mummy and daddy. Her happiness was her kids and grand-kids," she said.
Roslyn Gray, who was also Christine's sister-in-law, said the family had taken comfort from the fact that she had given children the gift of life through her organ donation.
"She had a donor card in her bag. That gave us comfort. It actually helped us as she is going to live on and these kids are going to have a better life because of Christine," she said.
Roslyn said a cremation service would take place at the weekend, revealing some of Christine's ashes would be brought to the beach in Portrush, where they will be scattered.
She said this was because Christine had enjoyed many happy times on the beach with her family and friends.
Aisling said Christine would be remembered as "the best mother".
"She would have done anything for anybody. She had the kindest heart ever."
Roslyn said the family were also indebted to the staff at the RVH for the care they gave Christine.
"The dignity they treated her with," she said.
"We are so indebted to the team for all they did for Christine".
She added: "It is scary to see how quickly somebody can go from your life.
"We will never understand why she was taken so young."