A family of loved ones and firefighters will soon say goodbye to one of their own in a grand scale funeral procession through one eastern Carolina city.
Fran Ryan was a volunteer firefighter for Old Ford Fire Department in Beaufort County. Ryan made the tremendously hard decision a few weeks ago to stop the treatment that has kept her alive for more than four decades, and in fact, helped plan her own funeral. Thursday she passed away peacefully surrounded by her husband Tim and daughter Veronica.
After coping with a kidney failure since birth 46 years ago, Tim says Fran's body started breaking down. She had two kidney transplants, one from her sister that lasted three years, and another which last 18 months. Just recently doctors performed open heart surgery, and Fran's entry sites for dialysis started to fail.
Tim says Fran believed she was just prolonging the inevitable. "It's a choice that she made and she said she had a long talk with God and she was good with it. She wanted to stop dialysis and let nature take its course."
Tim says Fran spent 12 years at the Old Ford Fire Department being a mentor to young firefighters and even being an example for their daughter who followed in her mother's footsteps to become a firefighter.
Fran's visitation will be Friday night at 7:00 pm at Old Ford Church. A full firefighter's processional is scheduled after her funeral at 2:00 pm on Saturday.