Press release

Family, staff and students gather to unveil memorial to Shannon

Published on 25 April 2023

A University of Dundee graduate who passed away hours after giving birth to her daughter has been honoured by classmates at an event in Fife.

On this page

Shannon Napier was just 24 when she experienced a fatal cardiac arrest on April 25 2020, shortly after delivering her daughter, Abbie.

A graduate of Dundee’s School of Health Sciences, Shannon had qualified as a nurse just 18 months earlier and had been working at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.

Her untimely passing shocked family and friends, including those who studied alongside her at the University’s campus in Kirkcaldy. On the third anniversary of the tragedy, classmates who launched a crowdfunding initiative to celebrate Shannon’s life gathered at the Fife campus to unveil a bench in her memory.

Her mother, Tracy De Munck Mortier, was among Shannon’s family who attended the short unveiling ceremony. She said, “Shannon always had such a caring nature – she loved to help people.

“She had such a large circle of friends and those friendships were such an important part of her time studying at university.

“When Shannon died, the support from her friends was such a comfort to everyone. To know that she had impacted on so many lives in such a positive way really helped us.

“It is nice to know that there is a place here at the University where people can come to take a moment and think about Shannon and the happy memories they shared together.”

Shannon Napier in Graduation robes

Shannon grew up in Kirkcaldy and was a former pupil of Fair Isle Primary and Kirkcaldy High School. She remained in the town to study at Dundee’s School of Health Sciences campus, undertaking a course in Adult Nursing. She graduated in 2018 before beginning her career with NHS Fife and working as a theatre nurse, though had expressed hopes to train as either a paramedic or midwife.

In the immediate aftermath of her death, Shannon’s classmates launched a crowdfunding page to raise funds to celebrate the life of their friend, as well as helping to support the daughter she would never get to see grow up. The tragedy prompted donations from across the local community and beyond, raising more than £17,000.

The date of Shannon’s death was also that which marked the one-year countdown to her wedding day, having met her fiance, Jordan Burt, on that same date in 2009. Both he and Abbie attended Tuesday’s ceremony, with Jordan saying that the unveiling would have significant meaning for him and his daughter in years to come.

“A memorial like this will mean so much to Abbie,” said Jordan.

“As she grows up it will be nice for her to know how important her mum was to so many people. It also reinforces what a role model Shannon was as a student, nurse, friend, daughter and fiancée. It is a part of her legacy to Abbie.

“It means so much to us that everyone who knew Shannon has a place to go and remember her and I hope that those that did come here and take the opportunity to reflect.”


Jordan, Tracy and Abbie on Shannon's memorial bench in Kirkcaldy

Linda Martindale, Dean of the School of Health Sciences, said, “Shannon was a hugely popular student whose death affected everybody here that knew her.

“Our Kirkcaldy campus is a particularly close-knit community and few things exemplify this better than the collective support shown by our students and staff in the aftermath of Shannon’s death, efforts which have helped to purchase this memorial.

“It is a privilege to welcome Shannon’s loved ones back to campus for this unveiling, which will act as a permanent tribute to her time studying here and the high regard in which she was held.”


Jonathan Watson

Senior Press Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489
Story category Dundee/local community