Elena Jane Bryan, known as ‘Beej’ to her family and friends, died on February 28th 2018 aged 40. She had had epilepsy for thirty years. Her final seizure happened while she was on her bed, talking to her Mum on the phone. Her airways were compromised during the seizure, and she didn’t recover. The emergency services were fantastic and could not have done more.Despite the problems associated with the worst of seizures, Elena refused to let her epilepsy define her as a person. She worked part time as a Nanny, having trained at the Princess Christian College in Manchester. She was loved and valued by everyone she worked for, and especially by the family she was with for fourteen years, helping to care for four girls throughout their schooldays.
As well as working, Elena did volunteering, and had a great empathy with people with mental health problems. Her kindness led her to give food and drinks to disadvantaged people who lived on the streets, as well as volunteering on projects when she could.
We as a family, want to keep her memory alive as being a wonderful daughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend, by raising vital funds for research which will help others.
Beej was always pushing her boundaries. A born adrenalin junkie, she had bungy jumped in New Zealand, sky dived, and trekked in Nepal, Peru, and Vietnam, to name just a few of her hair-raising activities! She also travelled to Zambia with the ‘Book Bus’, to help children access books and learn to read. She loved the theatre, cinema, and going to concerts. Her music was very important to her, and she had learned to play both the clarinet and flute during her time at school.
We will remember Beej for her lovely smile, her giggles, her determination, her bravery, and her kindness and generosity. “There are plenty worse off than me”, she would say… Her final act of generosity was her organ donation which gave the most precious gift of all to so many, the gift of life.
– Jane Paterson (Aunty Janey), April 2018
To make a donation to Elena’s memorial fund, please use the link below.