In Loving Memory
Steve, Niamh's beloved husband, shares Niamh's story.
On Thursday 11th August 2022, our world changed forever. This is the day our beloved Niamh passed away from a short illness caused by a bacterial infection which proved tragically fatal. On the Tuesday of that week she was in great form, we'd been out on a sunny day enjoying a few drinks in a beer garden and nice Chinese meal. On the Wednesday she fell ill and we took her to hospital, by the Thursday she had left us.
The infection was called necrotising fasciitis, its a rare but dangerous bacterial infection. Niamh had chronic neutropenia which meant she was more likely to catch this, and sadly less able to fight it due to having a very weak immune system. Niamh had only found out within a year before she passed away of her diagnosis of SDS, which led to her neutropenia condition.
Niamh actually took comfort and encouragement from her SDS diagnosis, it helped explain some of why she had suffered since a baby, she felt a new additional support from the online SDS community, and it gave her hope to find a way to live a more healthy life through leaning more about the condition. Cruelly ironic, we had an appointment with her consultant to learn more about SDS on the day she died.
Niamh was in and out of hospital as a baby, regularly sick throughout her childhood, and barely a month went by as an adult without seeing one of her numerous medical consultants for the several conditions she was living with. Sadly this is the reality of living with SDS. She also suffered significant loss emotionally, in particular her beloved mother Mary passed away whilst Niamh was still in her teens.
But despite all of this, Niamh was the loveliest, bubbliest, most cheerful, caring, generous and silliest person you could ever have the fortune to meet.
Anyone that knew her said she would light up a room when she entered. Born and bred in Dublin, Ireland, she came from a large & loving Irish family, and she was extremely close to all from the close & extended family.
She also made huge efforts to always spend time with her many friends, she was loyal and great company to all. A special mention to her best friend Karen, they knew each other since school and were like sisters, supporting each other through good times and bad.
Niamh was well known in her community, since we moved into the neighbourhood 10 years ago she set upon herself to organise the first ever street party here (and also the 2nd and 3rd!) before covid put a halt on those. As a stop gap she dragged her karaoke machine onto the road and we played socially distanced bingo to keep everyone entertained through difficult isolating times. And she never stopped trying to get involved with local people and getting people together, no better shown than when within the year before she died she founded the Dublin 7 Women's Shed, which is now going from strength to strength with well over 100 members.
Some of Niamh's very best friends though did not have 2 legs but 4. She was a lover of all animals, and in particular dogs. Whilst not working during covid Niamh minded several local dogs on a part time basis and took great joy out of this, as did all the doggies! And whilst we never had children, we did have our own little dog Basil, a Cavalier King Charles. Sadly Basil passed away 2 weeks after Niamh, he was 14 years old, and just as heart broken as everybody else, he loved his mammy very much.
I met Niamh backpacking around New Zealand in 2006. Niamh loved a holiday whether it was exploring a new place, travelling round beautiful Ireland with Basil, or soaking up some rays in the sun. She said her favourite trip was when we went to Cuba, we did this on a group tour and typical of Niamh, she was the life and soul of the group and quickly nicknamed the Daiquiri Queen.
Niamh loved to be busy when she was able, and also loved the outdoors, so her recent taking up of gardening suited her well. Her specialities were growing of spuds, tomatoes, sweetpea and sunflowers. Niamh loved to laugh, whether it be cheesy puns or sticking googly eyes everywhere. We'd regularly attend comedy gigs together. She had a daft and silly sense of humour, her giggle, often starting as a cackle and sometimes becoming so unstoppable that it almost caused her to choke and quickly grab her inhaler, was unique, unmissable and infectious, and full of joy.
Niamh loved music and going to gigs, especially outdoor festivals. She always had a fun loving 60s/70s vibe and would have fit in well when the Beatles and Donovan were banging out the tunes. She could dance around to cheesy pop, and head-bang to something more rocky and punky. Her favourite band were Ash, and their song Shining Light we've since adopted as its such a beautiful description of Niamh, our shining light.
Another band we got into recently are called Dream Wife. And that for me is the perfect description of Niamh. She was loving and caring. She was supportive and understanding. She was smart and funny. She was brave and courageous. She was great fun, the best craic you can imagine. She was beautiful from head to toe. She was my best friend and my soul mate.
Life is unbelievable tough now without Niamh by our side. She was loved by so many, and we were all lucky to be loved by Niamh. Niamh was always one who saw the best of people and the positives in situations wherever they existed. So in that vain, along with some close family and friends, we'll be participating in a remembrance run this November, doing this both in Niamh's memory and also to raise funds for the SDS Alliance.
Niamh Lynch-Livsey, aged 44 years, forever young, always loved, always in our hearts.