Family’s tributes to brave Nicola

Nicola Johnson, of Aspull, who died of Cystic Fibrosis, aged 26
Nicola Johnson, of Aspull, who died of Cystic Fibrosis, aged 26

THE family of a Wigan woman whose life was cut short by a degenerative illness has paid tribute to a “fantastic and beautiful girl.”

Nicola Johnson, of Aspull, was surrounded by close relatives as she died at Whythenshawe Cystic Fibrosis Unit aged just 26.

Nicola was just four months old when doctors told parents Carole and John that their daughter had the incurable lung condition.

But despite her ill health, she was determined for it not to get in the way of her life.

Older sister Emma, 29, said: “She was a beautiful, normal 26-year-old who loved make-up, clothes, music and going out with her friends.

“She was a wonderful auntie to my five-year-old daughter Lisa, who just idolised her.

“She was a big animal lover and doted on her dog, Max.

“She tried to be as normal as she could and even at school, a lot of her friends did not know she had the illness.

“She tried to work and was motivated to become a beauty therapist, but she had to give that up. She was also very close to her family and was more than a sister to me. She was my soul mate.”

Her mum, Carole, 54, added: “It should have affected her more than it did. It was mind over matter because Nicola pushed herself.”

Instead of letting her condition rule her life, Nicola, a former Holy Family Primary School pupil, embraced it.

She was an active member of Transplant Buddies, a forum for people who suffered from chronic illnesses, and started a blog about her experiences.

Emma added: “She made a lot of friends worldwide and had touched so many people’s lives. It was her way of coping with the fact she needed a transplant.”

Nicola was put on the waiting list for a double lung transplant five years ago, but after 18 months, she withdrew from the register, as she felt she did not need it.

To donate to the 65 Red Roses Appeal visit