As the family and friends of Lisa Orsi struggled to come to terms with their loss, groups of friends paid their own emotional tribute to the 22-year-old woman.
Lisa died in hospital after she collapsed following a trip to a volcano in Indonesia last month. She had been trekking and succumbed to altitude sickness. Initially her body was kept alive by life support equipment, but her family, who travelled to the young woman’s bedside, subsequently gave permission to have the machine switched off after it was accepted there was no hope of Lisa’s recovery.
As a tribute to their friend, at the start of March lantern releases were staged in home in Ebrington Square and in London by her former school and college friends.
One school friend, Aileen Faller, who was in the same class as Lisa described the lantern release in London as “special”.
“It was so special. Listening to the rippling of the water beneath us, we admired a beautiful London from Embankment Bridge and stood in silence as Big Ben sounded twelve midnight, and our special wee sky lantern for Lisa disappeared into the night sky,” she said.
The lantern releases were synchronised for that Friday night between 11pm and 12.30am and where Aileen was the last lantern was released as Big Ben struck midnight.
“It was such a moving and emotional experience,” she said.
“It happened on the Golden Jubilee Bridge, at Embankment. With me were Sharon Duffy, Aoife Meenan, Erin Anderson, Ellen Hasson, Jessica Quinn and Jamie Herron. Me, Erin, Sharon, Aoife and Jessica went to Thornhill, while Jamie went to Lumen Christie and Ellen went to Oakgrove. Lisa was in my class. Others involved knew Lisa from other things. Lisa and I were very close, but Sharon Duffy was one of her best friends and she was the one who organised the lanterns to be done in London,” said Aileen.
In addition to posting pictures of the lantern release, the London contingent also produced a short video, attached, which was widely shared on social media sites.
According to news reports at the time of the tragedy which claimed Lisa’s life, the 22-year-old had spent the last year in Singapore working as a physiotherapist and had gone on a few days’ holiday with friends to Indonesia.
She had trekked up a volcano with her friends, but a few hours later fell ill, collapsing in the shower. Her friends rushed her to hospital where she underwent tests to detect possible aneurysms, but her condition deteriorated.