Suddenly, on March 18, 2006 at 11:30a.m. while travelling to Vancouver to attend a fundraiser for pulmonary hypertension Nikki’s heart stopped.
She is predeceased by her beloved Grandpa Harvey Richardson and Uncle Brian Price.
She will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by her mother Janette and partner Wayne Romuld; brother Clay from Whistler; father Jack Harrison of Vancouver, her Aunt Roberta and Uncle Bill Massender; Uncle Brent Richardson; Grandmother Janet Richardson; Auntie Joy Price and countless friends.
Nicole Marie Harrison was born at Grace Hospital on August 22, 1977. Nikki attended her early school years in Bella Coola. When she was nine y ears old she was diagnosed with systemic lupus and underwent open heart surgery for a pericardial window. After 3 years of large doses of prednisone Nikki enjoyed fairly good health and moved with her mother, brother and step-father to Port Alberni where she graduated from ADSS. At 19 she moved to Switzerland with the Au Pair program and while backpacking through Spain and Morocco she noticed her breathing was difficult. she was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension and flown home. However, none of us were surprised that after several months at VGH and more medications Nikki returned to Switzerland for one more years.
In the fall of 2000 Nikki enrolled in business college, however, her PH had progressed and she was forced to withdraw from college to be re-admitted to VGH where her Hickman catheter was inserted. She left the hospital hooked up to her Caad pump and “Floey” (Flolan). This new treatment allowed Nikki to go on to graduate with honours from business college, move to Campbell River to work at Painters Lodge and meet her first true love.
June 2001 brought even more surgeries. In August 2003 she was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer and a large tumour was removed from her salivary gland on her 26th birthday.
It wasn’t long before Nikki came home to Port Alberni and to pass the time she took up knitting. Before long she was creating the most unique scarves and her enterprise “Nix Knits” was born. Anyone who had the pleasure of accompanying Nikki on a wool hunt took great pleasure in her euphoria on finding a new yarn to play with. In late 2005 Nikki was once again admitted to hospital where she spent the next 70 days. Despite excruciating pain she rarely complained to the nurses unless their “procedures: were interfering with her show “Desperate Housewives” Nikki so looked forward to Sunday night at 9 o’clock. That was a sacred hour for her. And if anyone was willing to challenge her to a good (or even bad) game of Scrabble – well you were her new best friend.
Despite all her illnesses Nikki never gave in to feeling sorry for herself. Her doctors were constantly amazed at her tenacity and she was asked to attend several conferences to meet other specialists in the field who were dazed, as were all of us, by our walking miracle.
Nikki would like everyone to experience, enjoy and embrace every second of our time on earth. Be Happy!!.
A “Celebration of Life” was held at the First Baptist Church (formerly Cherry Crk School) 6211 Cherry Creek Road, on Thursday March 23rd from 1-3p.m.
In respect of her wishes cremation will take place and at some time in the future she will be taken to Nahmint Lake where she spent many treasured days camping with friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The British Columbia Pulmonary Hypertension Society, 2881 Canyon Park Place, Victoria, BC., V9B 4Z4 www.bcphs.org
Chapel of Memories
entrusted with arrangements.