Monday 26 September 2016

'I intend to honour those who died by living a happy and fulfilling life'

Published 25/06/2015 | 02:30

Clodagh Cogley who was injured in a balcony fall in Berkeley.
Clodagh Cogley who was injured in a balcony fall in Berkeley.

One of the brave survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse has vowed to live the rest of her life to the full after revealing that she may never walk again.

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Clodagh Cogley said the horrific injuries she sustained in the tragic accident, which left six of her friends dead, means the chances of her using her legs again are "pretty bleak".

Despite the life-changing condition she now faces, the 21-year-old remains upbeat and said she would soon be moving to a "great rehabilitation centre" in San Francisco.

"The fall from the balcony left me with two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, five broken ribs and a broken spinal cord. Meaning, the chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak," the Trinity College student wrote in an emotional post on social media last night. The granddaughter of the legendary rugby commentator Fred Cogley is vowing to give her recovery everything she has, in honour of her six friends who didn't survive the 40-foot fall.

"Not the best odds, but I am moving to a great rehabilitation centre here in San Francisco for two months and intend to give it everything I have got," she said last night, adding that she was looking forward to the "dog therapy" they offered there.

"Who knows, maybe legs have been holding me back all these years and I'll realise my talent for wheelchair basketball," she wrote.

"The thing I'm taking from this tragedy is that life is short and I intend to honour those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.

"Enjoy a good dance and the feeling of grass beneath your feet like it's the last time because in this crazy world you never know when it might be."

The seven other students who survived the horrific fall were taken to three different hospitals close to the site of the accident.

Sean Fahey and Niall Murray were treated alongside Clodagh in the Eden Medical Centre in Castro Valley. Sean was released from hospital earlier this week and was planning on returning to Ireland, while Niall is expected to remain there for a number of weeks.

Aoife Beary (21) and Hannah Waters (21), understood to have been the most critically injured, are believed to have "longest roads to recovery" ahead of them.

It is understood that Conor Flynn will need extensive physiotherapy but is expected to make a full recovery, while Jack Halpin is also making progress in the hospital.

Irish Independent

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