IT should have been a day to celebrate the first anniversary of her heart transplant.
But Lauren Dixon died before she could reach the landmark.
However, it had been her dream to mark the anniversary with a fund-raising day – and despite their heartache, family and friends were determined to carry out her wishes.
Now they hope to have raised more than £3,000 for New Start, the transplant charity at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, where Lauren was treated, thanks to a family fun day yesterday at the Stanley Arms pub in Wesham.
Landlord and Lauren’s stepdad Martin Molloy said: “It would have been Lauren’s 23rd birthday last Wednesday, but she said the first anniversary of her transplant was more important.
“This was to have been a very special celebration, but sadly she died in May. So we decided to continue and organise it in her memory because that is what she would have wanted.
“The community has really pulled together, with businesses donating raffle prizes, and it just shows the impact Lauren had.”
Friends and family described it as a ‘happy-sad’ day.
Mandy Webster, of Rawlinson Street, Wesham, who helped organise the day, said: “When I first arrived today I was a bit tearful, and it has been very emotional.
“Lauren was an absolutely fantastic girl who loved a party, so I’m sure she would have been looking down on us.
“We were determined to carry on and fulfill her wishes of raising money for New Start.”
Lauren’s sister Michelle added: “It has been difficult today, but we wanted to raise money for what is a very good cause. Next year I am planning to do a skydive in memory of my sister.”
Lauren, who lived at the pub with Martin and her mum Denise, and worked at Morrisons supermarket in Kirkham, died suddenly in May.
Her family also want to highlight the issue of organ donation and visitors to the fun day were encouraged to join the organ donation register.
Mr Molloy added: “It’s such a big issue – three people die every day waiting for a transplant.”