Northern Ireland news

Fundraising in memory of Co Antrim crash victim will help 20 air ambulance patients

Naomi Lynn from Ballymena (21) was a final year student at Queen's University, Belfast

MORE than £50,000 raised in memory of a young architecture student who died in a road crash in Co Antrim will help 20 air ambulance patients.

The family of Naomi Lynn from Ballymena (21) said they wanted "to give hope to other patients in need".

A final year student at Queen's University Belfast, Ms Lynn was killed alongside her work colleague Andrew Burke (23) in a collision in Glarryford in February 2020.

The pair had worked in a coffee shop at Belfast International Airport.

Following her tragic death, Ms Lynn's family embarked on a two-year fundraising campaign in a bid to support the Air Ambulance that attended the scene of the crash.

Her father Bryan said they were "grateful" for the help provided to their daughter, who he described as "bright, beautiful, and very talented".

"Naomi was only 21," he said.

"She had so much potential, the world at her feet.

"It was her final year of her architecture degree at Queens University and was working part-time with Andrew in Starbucks in the International Airport to fund her studies.

"We are grateful to the air ambulance team who attended scene that day and wanted to raise funds to thank the service and to give hope to other patients in need.

"I had no idea when I started the fundraising journey over two years ago that I would have raised anywhere near this figure.

"Everyone has been incredibly generous, and I am very grateful for the tributes in Naomi’s memory."

Over the past two years, family and friends of Ms Lynn have been involved in a massive fundraising campaign, which has resulted in £53,000 being collected.

The main fundraiser was a gala dinner held on the second anniversary of Ms Lynn's death, while a raffle raised £13,000 and the auction alone collecting £18,500.

The money raised will fund 20 air ambulance missions.

The NI Air Ambulance service brings urgent medical assistance to anywhere in the north, operating seven days a week for 12 hours per day.

Kerry Anderson from the Air Ambulance NI said the charity aspires to raise £2 million each year to keep the service going so public donations are crucial.

"We truly wish the outcome could have been different for Naomi and Andrew, it is so sad that two young lives have been lost," she said.

"And it is humbling that Bryan, family and friends have chosen to fundraise in Naomi’s memory, to help others.

"Air Ambulance NI aspires to raise £5,500 per day to sustain the HEMS (helicopter emergency medical service).

"This considerable donation will fund the service for 10 days and could help 20 future patients.

"On behalf of the charity we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Bryan, to the family and all who donated and supported."

 

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