Charity created in memory of young 'brave' man
PUBLISHED: 06:44 18 September 2015
A charity fun day will be held this weekend in memory of a Weston man who died after undergoing a double lung transplant.
As previously reported in the Mercury, Ian Ritchie spent five months in a Birmingham hospital but died aged 25 after failing to recover from the operation.
Ian was born with cystic fibrosis and chose to have the operation in an attempt to improve his life quality. His family were bringing him home so he could die peacefully at home as he wished, but he passed away in an ambulance en route.
Two months on, Ian’s family have set up the Ian Ritchie Foundation – starting with a charity football match at Priory Community School in Worle, where Ian studied.
His sister Carolyn said: “Ian was such a brave and determined young man, and we are devastated to be without him.
“Even while fighting difficult and painful battles throughout his life, he always remained positive, never moaning or feeling sorry for himself. We feel it’s important to continue channelling these qualities for him in his memory, so we have created the Ian Ritchie Foundation.
“Our charity will be working hard to raise funds for many positive projects over the coming years, investing money into many of the things close to Ian’s heart.
“Our starting project is to purchase equipment for the critical care unit, transplant and physio teams at New Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where Ian spent his final fighting months.
“He was cared for around the clock by some incredible medical staff within these teams, whose tireless efforts allowed us five extra months with our beloved son, brother and uncle, Ian.
“We’d like to give something back and help families like ours, who will benefit from the use of additional hospital equipment while somebody they love is suffering.”
The fun day, which will include face-painting, a barbecue, sponsored head shave and a bouncy castle, begins at 1.30pm.
Carolyn added: “We will also hold a raffle, and would like to say such a big thank you to the many generous people and companies who have donated prizes to support this event and its wonderful cause.
“Special thanks go to Judy Clibbett and Sainsbury’s Worle, which kindly donated a superb hamper, along with barbecue supplies. We are also grateful beyond words to Priory headteacher Neville Coles who has, because of Ian’s story, made the decision to appoint the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as the school’s charity of the year.