Lucy made her grand entrance into the world at Llandough Hospital on on 29th December, 2001. Already showing gymnastic/athletic prowess, she kicked her twin sister Sophie out first, and was born herself several minutes later. The family made it back to their St Mellons home in time to spend their first New Year’s Eve together.
Vaulting into the gymnastics scene
At the age of four, both sisters started gymnastics. While it was clear that they were both naturals, Sophie often suffered bouts of stage fright during competitions. It was then that Lucy would step in, having learnt her sister’s routines as well as her own, and pretend to be Sophie. In one competition she took both the gold medal for herself and bronze for her sister!
While Sophie moved onto horse riding, Lucy’s gymnastics career changed to try another avenue of Artisitc gymnastics when she joined Cardiff Central Youth Club.
Lucy discovered her real passion for acrobatics and returned to Newport Acro, where she joined the Welsh Gymnastics Squad and performed internationally in Turin, Italy — where, we must admit, she survived on peanuts all week because she didn’t like the food!
In the summer of 2017, Lucy finally moved to King Edmund Gym Club in Bristol where her enthusiasm and determination were admired by us all as she took to practicing every day after school, with hopes of competing in the Olympics one day.
A dream of making a difference
It was while she was in Turin that Lucy sat down with her dad, Neil and professed that she wanted to be remembered for something: to have her name written somewhere. She didn’t know whether that would mean winning Olympic medals or discovering a cure as a doctor which she hoped one day to be.
Lucy loved school and was as devoted to her studies as she was with gymnastics. Giving 100%, she revised her socks off for her GCSEs, driven to follow a career in medicine and make a difference in this world.
She certainly did make a difference to a lot of people in her short life. Her family and friends meant everything to her, and she was full of love, kindness and empathy for everyone at home, at school and the gym.
We’ve been overwhelmed with stories and memories of Lucy, and we hope that you’ll continue to share them with us on the facebook memories page.
It all really went downhill in the space of 6 hours when it went from just simple cold/flu symptoms to what we now know was Sepsis.
After a weekend of cold/flu like symptoms (BP, Pulse and Temp did not show any serious signs as we had all the machines to test these things over the weekend) a doctor’s visit on Monday morning referred her to the hospital immediately as there was no observations pointing to any prognosis.
MAU treated her chest pain and breathing difficulties for 12 hours, even though she said she could not breath and needed oxygen her O2 was 100% (7 bags of IV fluid and multiple antibiotics) and had many tests including multiple Blood tests and X Rays but at 4am motling started to appear in her legs. It was at this point she went for an emergency CT scan or her chest that showed sign of fluid around the heart (Pericardial effusion).
It was at this time she was rushed to Main Theatre for a fluid drain on fluid surrounding her heart. After the drain we had a brief moment where she was without pain and stable. Within an hour she had to be put into an induced coma as there was still no immediate signs of improvement and something else was wrong. There an internal exploratory examination on her body to try and find the cause of the sepsis yet it also showed no signs of any why.
It was at this point the consultant in the ICU came in to the “family room”, sat on the floor and said some very memorable words. She explained that they could not find the actual cause of the Lactic acid in her blood (Sepsis) and even though Lucy was on assisted breathing and controlled drugs during her induced coma there were no signs of improvement, which was not normal. She continued to explained that Lucy was the sickest person in the Hospital and probably the sickest she had seen for weeks. It was also at this momentous point she said “It’s highly likely that Lucy would Die”. Sophie threw her drink across the room, fainted and everyone in the room broke down (words can never ever explain what “Broke down” means here), indescribably.
2 hours later Lucy arrested and Cath and Neil (Mum and Dad) watched Lucy be brought back to life with manual CPR and then they left the ICU to do their thing. An hour later we were informed she had arrested again and was on an automated CPR belt (AutoPulse) and a team from Royal Brompton Hospital in London were called in via helicopter. 2 hour wait. We went see Lucy during this 2 hours and we could be never prepared for the site of Lucy on this AutoPulse machine, this can not be unseen and will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
The Royal Gwent hospital (Newport) ICU department did everything in their power (she was under 20 consultants care) to save our little girl’s life but unfortunately her very large physical reserve meant when that reserve and fight emptied things would go down hill so very fast. When the specialist doctors from Royal Brompton Hospital came with the specialist machine to bypass and filter her blood it was too late.
We have set up https://Lucyellis.love website to explain the whats, whys and explain how a charity called “The Lucy Ellis Foundation” will help with future examples of such an athlete losing her life so quick.
More information on the Lucy’s foundation can be found here.
Lucy was a special girl that has touched many people’s lives in the short time of her life. Lucy had a conversation in Turin this year with her dad where she wanted to leave this life knowing she has made a difference and wanted to be down in writing for someone that made a difference. Little did she and the family know this difference would be in her death. We know that it would be nothing more than her wishes to make sure we can save other people’s lives and helping other children chase their dreams in her memory.
Anything you could do to give any type of support or help for her cause would be greatly appreciated.