Emotional farewell for ‘vibrant and beautiful’ nurse Lucy

The funeral procession of Lucy Blackburn makes its way into All Saints with St John the Baptist.
The funeral procession of Lucy Blackburn makes its way into All Saints with St John the Baptist.

A vibrant, beautiful, caring and bubbly student nurse who had an infectious laugh and the ability to light up a room was laid to rest in front of hundreds of people whose lives she touched.

There was barely even room to stand at All Saints with St John the Baptist Church, in Padiham Road, Burnley, as the family and countless friends of Lucy Blackburn (20) bid her an emotional farewell.

Floral tributes at the funeral of Lucy Blackburn.

Floral tributes at the funeral of Lucy Blackburn.

Many of her friends, along with family members, paid their own tributes as they read out their memories of Lucy and poems they had written to the congregation. In a break with tradition many donned bright coloured clothing to reflect Lucy’s colourful personality.

Lucy, who lived in Hapton, died on December 1st after she was found collapsed in toilets at Warrington Hospital where she was on the first day of her second year placement. She had suffered an epileptic seizure.

As her white coffin was brought into church by her loved ones, One Direction’s “Story of My Life” played out over the loudspeaker.

Fr Charlie Hill, who led the service said it was testament to Lucy’s kind and caring nature that so many people had attended to pay their respects, including many fellow student nurses who wore their uniforms, all of whom struggled to contain their emotion.

The funeral cortege of Lucy Blackburn makes its way to Burnley Crematorium.

The funeral cortege of Lucy Blackburn makes its way to Burnley Crematorium.

In another reflection of her character mourners sang the hymns “All Things Bright And Beautiful” and “Amazing Grace.”

Lucy’s friends from Burnley and the University of Chester, where she was studying, shared stories of a funny, determined and caring young woman whose vocation in life was to be a nurse.

Friends told how the former Hameldon Community College pupil and Burnley College student loved taking photographs of them and sharing them on social media and was also known as a “selfie queen.”

“The brightest star in the sky,” “a breath of fresh air” and “extremely witty” were just some of the many ways Lucy was described by her closest pals.

Lucy Blackburn (s)

Lucy Blackburn (s)

One said: “She was the one friend who would always check on you. Even if you were OK you’d get a text from her asking how you were.”

Another added: “I’ll keep this short and sweet like Lucy was. There’s a quote from Harry Potter, Lucy’s favourite film, which says ‘happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light’ and I think this is very appropriate.

“Lucy was so selfless and brave and she inspired us all.”

Fr Charlie Hill, who led the service, asked the congregation to applaud those who had spoken to the packed church.

Floral tributes at the funeral of Lucy Blackburn.

Floral tributes at the funeral of Lucy Blackburn.

“Everyone who has spoken today has been very brave. Nothing, not even death can take away what Lucy has meant to you and what you meant to her. I sincerely believe that death is not the end.”

At the end of the service the words of “Drop In The Ocean” by Ron Pope played out, a nod to Lucy’s obsession with American TV series One Tree Hill.

After Lucy was taken on her final journey to Burnley Crematorium, mourners released balloons, in her favourite colour purple, into the sky.

Since Lucy’s death her friends have raised thousands of pounds to fund a new minibus to transport student nurses from campus to their hospital placements, an issue which Lucy, who was also a student representative, felt passionately.

Her mum Susan said the family had been inundated with messages of condolence from around the world. She leaves Susan, dad Christopher, step-dad Craig, brother Macaulay and sister Kia.

Balloons are released into the night sky at the funeral of Lucy Blackburn.

Balloons are released into the night sky at the funeral of Lucy Blackburn.