A larger-than-life character with an immense variety of talents and an infectious laugh.
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Shomari Lyon, BVSc, MRCVS, (b) 1989, (q) Bristol 2013. Died 26 September 2019.
Shomari was born to Michael and Angela in Norbury, London. The middle boy of three sons, he enjoyed a happy childhood in a welcoming and busy home.
Shomari’s infectious giggle brightened up a room. Having heard his brothers laugh, it’s a trait that runs in them all, and is one reason why it is unlikely that their parents could have been angry with their boys for long.
He was active; he played rugby and enjoyed parkour. He was also incredibly creative – drawing amazing images and playing the guitar. He had a range of interests and skills, and his friends miss his gems of knowledge, such as pointing out various constellations in the night sky.
Shomari was never offended by the many mispronunciations of his name and had a long list of accidental versions of it that made us laugh.
Shomari made friends easily – he would talk to anyone and charmed everyone he met
He made friends easily at Bristol vet school and would talk to anyone and charmed everyone he met. He was one of the most vibrant students of our year and brought out the funny side in us all.
He once led a group of friends to cover every item in his flatmate’s bedroom with tin foil while she was on holiday. She was still finding things wrapped up two years later. He also embraced the opportunity to dress up for fancy dress nights (our favourite was his appearance as Jack Skellington at a Christmas party) and he had some hilarious dance moves. He often practised gymnastic moves at home – including walking on his hands (wearing Spiderman pyjamas) – and did back-flips off a boat and acrobatics in the pool during our final-year holiday.
His passion for interesting foods led him to buy a deep fat fryer to see what he could cook in it (and what he couldn’t). He enjoyed excessive amounts of hot sauce and immeasurable amounts of ginger beer.
Shomari sported many interesting hairdos including dreadlocks and, as promised, grew an afro for final-year rotations, which went well with the hot pink stethoscope that he wore.
During third year, Shomari’s father was diagnosed with leukaemia. He made frequent trips home to support his family as well as trying to cope with the challenges of university. His father developed Guillain-Barré syndrome and passed away during the winter term of the following year.
After his death, Shomari struggled and, unsurprisingly, needed to repeat fourth year. He even questioned whether he should continue his degree, but honoured the promise he had made to his dad and persevered – we were all proud to see him graduate in 2013.
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After graduating, he moved to Grimsby and worked at Abbey Veterinary Care, a companion animal practice.
He had developed a keen interest in ultrasonography and was thinking about pursuing this further. His passion for veterinary medicine had returned.
Although Shomari often toyed with the idea of returning to London, he made lifelong friends with his Grimsby ‘family’ and had great fun working with the team there. He had also met and fell in love with Lucy, a vet nurse at the practice.
In 2018, Lucy and Shomari went to Australia to work and travel. They spent time working in clinics in and around Sydney and Queensland, embracing many adventures and making friends along the way.
Unfortunately, eight months into their trip, it came to an abrupt end. Shomari had developed pain in his abdomen and a CT scan showed a mass on his kidney. They flew home to London together where Shomari received a diagnosis of metastatic renal medullary carcinoma and began chemotherapy treatment. Shomari never stopped fighting and we were heartbroken by his passing on 26 September. We miss his smile and his energy, his endless enthusiasm and amazing sense of humour.
We send our love and thoughts to his mother Angela, his brothers Kamau and Chinyelu, and his fiancé Lucy, to whom he proposed a few weeks before he died.
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