Poignant day for family of tragic Melissa who open her Leaving Cert results
THE family of a young teen who lost her life in a road crash paid emotional tribute to her as they opened her Leaving Cert results.
Melissa Patterson died on July 30 as a result of injuries she sustained when she was hit by a car on the N60 at Breaffy, Co Mayo. Yesterday her heartbroken family received her Leaving Cert results along with those of her twin sister Belinda.
Her mother Carmel, twin Belinda and older siblings Samantha and Eamon gathered at their Castlebar home to open the results as a family, after school principal of Davitt College Bernie Rowland personally delivered the envelope.
"I can't believe she's not here to open them, she did so well. She passed everything and I'm so proud of her," said her mum Carmel Cusack.
"It was always the five of us, we were so close. We just trying to keep going every day and to keep her close to us," she added.
Carmel yesterday remembered her daughter's constant joy, describing how Melissa would "live every day to the full".
"Melissa said she didn't care what she did, she just took it day by day. She was planning on putting college off for a few years and going back as a mature student.
"She'd just gone for an interview for a job in the hospital on the day she died," she added.
Carmel said she believe her daughter was giving her the strength to keep going.
"I'm doing too well at the moment. I do believe I'm getting that strength from Melissa. I feel she is still here with us. We were a very close family. We had nothing, but we had love and we had dreams and determination," she added.
The family has now set up a fund in memory of Melissa who was "sports mad". She represented her local soccer team, Castlebar Town FC.
"Sports were her passion, oh my God, she was fiery on the pitch. She always put her best foot forward and did the best she possibly could. We'd analyse every game when she came home," recalled Carmel.
Her mum hopes the fund will be a testament to her daughter's short life and help disadvantaged students to join sports groups and reach their full potential.
"We want this to be something that lives on for Melissa. She was sports mad, her and her twin, especially gaelic and soccer.
"We wouldn't have had much, but the sports groups always understood if the money was sometimes late. Now we want to give other children a chance. Melissa would have loved that," she added.
Melissa's tragic death has left her three siblings reeling, especially her twin Belinda. The grieving teen had planned on studying as a primary school teacher but will now defer for a year. The two girls shared a love of sport.
"They were on the team together and they didn't even have to look up, they just knew where the other was. They are two of the best girleens, I was so blessed to have them. Belinda did great in her results, she got exactly what she wanted but after everything that happens she'll defer for a year," said Carmel.
The fund bank account has been set up at Bank of Ireland, Castlebar. The sort code is 90 37 44 and the account number is 20757510.
Cheques can also be made payable by post to the 'Melissa Patterson Memorial Fund', Bank of Ireland, Castlebar. Quote the account number 20757510 on the back of the cheque.