Mr Jonathan Strain

MR Jonathan Strain, of 19 Buckshead Road, Downpatrick, passed away suddenly at home on April 20 at the age of 37.

Jonathan was the youngest son of Alan and Elaine and brother to Gavin and Diane.  Jonathan was just nine and a half weeks old when he suffered a viral infection to his brain, which left him with cerebral palsy and severely impaired motor skills that impacted greatly on his early development.

He commenced at Knockevin Special School at the age of three. This was to be his education base for the next 16 years where he benefited from the skilled teaching staff and classroom assistants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

He had weekly use of the hydrotherapy pool and attended Riding for the Disabled at Maghera.  His many teachers were indeed very special to him.  

During this time Jonathan made progress with his communication and was able to use facial expressions to convey his like or dislike with his wants and situations. His understanding and awareness gradually increased.

Aged 19 Jonathan made the transition to Mountview Adult Resource Centre. While this was an anxious time for the family, he made the move with excitement and quickly settled into his new environment. Once again his endearing personality soon made him popular with clients and staff.  He travelled to school and day care by bus with bus escort.

Throughout his life Jonathan enjoyed many family holidays in Killarney, Malahide, Galway and Fermanagh. In later years he developed a preference for horse racing, football and snooker. Manchester United was his favourite team. He also enjoyed his radio programmes and liked Stephen Nolan, Sean Coyle, Hugo Duncan and Fr Brian D’Arcy.

As he got older his needs increased and carers from Down Community Care and Lydian Healthcare helped care for Jonathan at home. He adapted well to these changes and soon built up a rapport with each day and night time carer. He loved each one of them and enjoyed banter with them.

Jonathan suffered from pneumonia over three years ago and following this he was confined to bed rest with a time limit of one hour for sitting up in his wheelchair. After a five-day admission to the Downe Hospital he was at home from day care for the next five months.

This set the pattern for the future. He resumed at Mountview for just two days per week from Easter to Christmas. This certainly was a great advantage for his health, with a significant decrease in the use of antibiotics.

Jonathan did enjoy the visits from his nephews and nieces, Joshua, Amy, Zac and Faye, who always included him in their activities. Zac was his super wheelchair pusher and Faye liked to stand on his footrest and hold on to the sides. He loved to see them arriving and couldn’t hide his delight when they prepared to go home. He also loved his many visits from family and friends, far too numerous to mention, but who were greatly appreciated.

Sadly Jonathan became unwell on Saturday, April 20, and despite strenuous efforts by his sister, Diane, and the four paramedics who were quickly on the scene, they were unable to revive him. His funeral service took place on Easter Tuesday and his popularity was evident by the large attendance at Hollymount Church.

Jonathan was so precious and special to all his family and will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him. He was a joy to look after and his family were richly blessed to have him in their family life. He was an inspiration with his fun personality and character.

We thank you Jonathan for the wonderful, sweet memories which you have left us to treasure all our lives.