Brave teen in hospital battle dies in arms of her brother
Published 25/04/2016 | 02:30
A teenager whose brother had lobbied for her hospital transfer for a life-saving operation has died just days after her 19th birthday.
Breda Kevane from Tralee in Co Kerry suffered from spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and was in need of an urgent operation on her airways that wasn't available at her local hospital.
Breda was in an induced coma in the intensive care unit (ICU) at Kerry University Hospital when her brother Paddy began a determined campaign to highlight her plight.
In an interview in March, Paddy told George Hook that if Breda didn't get a transfer to Cork University Hospital, she would die within a number of days.
"If she stays in Kerry for another two or three days, the most likely outcome is that she'll die," Paddy said.
At the time of the campaign, the HSE said that it would be inappropriate to comment on individual cases, but they had contacted the two hospitals involved to get an update on their overall ICU situation.
Paddy's heartfelt plea of #BedForBreda worked, and secured a bed for his sister in Cork University Hospital at the end of March.
She had spent over two weeks in an induced coma, but awoke and was "conscious and aware" on April 6, providing hope for her family.
However, despite a successful transfer, it is understood the teenager succumbed to her illnesses early on Sunday morning in the arms of her brother and surrounded by her parents Kevin and Agnes.
Tributes for the tragic young woman came in yesterday from Mr Hook, who was shocked by the news.
"Just received news that Breda Kevane died this morning. Her plight moved me and it's sad that we could not do more," he said.
Family friend Ann Doherty also posted a heartfelt message online in memory of the teenager.
"Special angels prayers to my dear friend Agnes Kevane whose darling daughter Breda got her angel wings today - fly high darling safe in the arms of Jesus," she said.
Tralee Councillor Sam Locke told the Irish Independent that his thoughts were with the family "after a very difficult period for them all".
"It's very sad news," Mr Locke said.
"They had a very hard battle and my sympathies lie with the family," he added.