Lee Nicol

Lee Nicol

Age: 14

Lee Nicol was the youngest of three children. A hard worker at school, he would say to his mother, Patricia, 'if you don't have an education, how will you get on?' Lee was a proud carrier of a donor card and he helped others after his passing by donating his organs to those in need.

Patricia told the inquests: "Lee's generosity spread far and wide, beyond just his family and friends. I am so very proud."

Portrait by his mother Patricia Donnelly

Lee Nicol was born on January 3, 1975. Lee was the youngest of my three children.

When he was born, his sister Joanne was nine and his brother Andrew 10. I was delighted when I discovered I was pregnant with Lee.

He was a beautiful and contented baby, whose life was ended prematurely at the age of 14. Lee was a fun-loving child, but also had a serious side to him.

He loved school and he was a hard worker. He did very well in every subject but still had to work hard to keep up with his best friend, Austin, who was naturally clever.

But Lee didn't mind the challenge, particularly from his close friend, because Lee was such a hard worker. He could never understand why other pupils didn't enjoy school. He used to say: "If you don't have an education, how will you get on?"

Lee's thirst for knowledge and learning didn't stop at school. He actively pursued learning Spanish. He wrote to his Spanish pen pal in Barcelona and would make me speak Spanish to him even though I only knew a few words. His love of learning was so refreshing.

Lee loved visiting museums - the planetarium too - although paleontology caught his imagination. He was fascinated by the ancient civilisations, like the Greeks and the Egyptians.

Lee had a particular interest in the life of Tutankhamun and wrote about him in his life. He spoke about saving up to go on a dig to New Jersey, although the appeal of New Jersey was probably the fact that Jon Bon Jovi lived there.

Lee adored Jon Bon Jovi from about the age of 11 and liked to have his hair cut like him. His favourite song was 'Living on a Prayer'. He would sing in his best singing voice and put his heart and soul into singing it, just like he did with everything he turned his hand to.

Lee was christened 'Lee Jon Bon Jovi' just before his life-support machine was turned off.

Lee greatly enjoyed sport. He played for our local boys' team along with his friend, Austin. Austin was physically bigger than Lee and so had the edge in sport, but Lee was never far behind and was always up for the challenge.

He was also a member of a sports club outside of school. Lee's overriding passion was football and his love of Liverpool Football Club. I even recall 'Liverpool' being one of the first words he said.

He loved the team more than anything and was eager to get a job to contribute to his season ticket, as he was aware that I didn't have a lot of money to spare. Lee took up a paper round in the morning and evenings and also a milk round in the mornings before school.

He worked hard and saved money to contribute towards his season ticket. Austin and Lee loved to go to the games together, though he had never been to an away game until Hillsborough.

Lee and I spent a lot of time together and it was only the two of us left at home. Both Andrew and Joanne were fully grown and had homes of their own. We used to cook and bake together. He would write down recipes, make non-alcoholic cocktails.

I once had stuffed mushrooms in a fancy hotel and Lee persuaded the waitress to write the recipe down. We made it at home and it was delicious. He did the same with an Indian restaurant we went to and he got the recipe for a chicken curry.

I had to buy all the ingredients, including saffron. It took about five hours to make, but it turned out lovely in the end. Lee also loved making up his own recipes. I still have his cookery book at home.

Lee was greatly loved by all his family and had a wonderful circle of friends. Lee's friends came to visit him in the funeral parlour and stayed with him for a long time. It was incredibly emotional and touching to see such a display of love shown to my son.

I can draw some consolation from the fact that Lee had managed to help others live on. He was a proud carrier of a donor card. I always remember it being taped to the side of his computer.

It is a testament to his kindness. Lee's donation has helped a number of people. Soon after Lee's death, I received a letter from a little boy's grandmother thanking me, as Lee's donation of his liver allowed her grandson to walk for the first time and join the school football team.

Lee's donation also helped two other women, as they received his kidneys. His aortic valves went to a gentleman outside the United Kingdom. Lee's generosity spread far and wide beyond just his family and friends. I am so very proud. 

 

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