The life of an inspirational teenager was remembered by pupils at a city school.
Year 10 media students at Farringdon Community Academy staged an evening of film dedicated to former student Sarah Barton, who died shortly after her 17th birthday in August 2013.
The East Herrington teen’s courageous health battle, which included enduring two heart transplants, and her determination to live life to the full touched everyone.
And it was her love of media and film-making that was the theme of the evening.
Students and staff were joined by Sarah’s family and friends, including parents Beverley and Peter Barton, to watch a range of short films, some made by current students and some by Sarah herself.
The room was decorated in a movie theme, including clipper boards, and tables were decked with popcorn, sweets and soft drinks for the movie-goers to enjoy, as well as movie-themed cupcakes.
She got the most out of life and she was amazing.Lorraine Bird
The emotional evening saw many recount their personal memories of Sarah and how she gave her all to everything she did, and the night ended with two pupils singing a tear-jerking version of Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl.
Lorraine Bird, media teacher at the Allendale Road school, said: “Sarah chose to do media at GCSE and she absolutely blew me away from day one. She absolutely did not let her heart transplants define who she was.
“The day she returned to school after her second transplant, the first thing she said to me was “Miss, I’m sorry my coursework is late”, that is who Sarah was.
“She got the most out of life and she was amazing.”
Her form tutor, Lynda Leyson, added: “I am proud to have known someone like Sarah. She never complained, she took life and made what she could of it.”
For Sarah’s family the evening was bittersweet, mixed with heartache and pride. Mum Beverley said: “There are tears of joy and sadness. It is very emotional seeing people I haven’t seen since Sarah died.
“For the school and the students to do this is such a wonderful gesture, we are so grateful.”
Sarah first became ill shortly before her 11th birthday due to a virus, which doctors believe caused her heart to fail.
She underwent a transplant, but two years later she deteriorated and was just hours from death when a second heart was found.
Sarah’s inspirational attitude and determination saw her win several honours, including a Pride of Wearside Award.
Sadly she died suddenly when her second transplanted heart gave out during a day out in Newcastle with her dad and she could not be revived.