Friday 30 January 2015

Remembering a rose

Texan Adrienne Hussey fell in love with Ireland after her star turn at the Rose of Tralee. But the 26-year-old suffered a fatal brain aneurysm, and now her grieving friends have set up a charity in her name.

Adrienne Hussey with Rose of Tralee Presenter Daithi O'Sé
Friends of Adrienne have set up a scholarship in association with the University of Limerick.

'If she was your friend, she was your friend and anybody else who was not your friend had better watch out because you had Adrienne in your corner," says Niamh Sherlock about her friend and fellow 2010 Rose of Tralee contestant Adrienne Hussey.

The Texas Rose tragically died at the young age of 26 from a brain aneurysm. She had been living in Dublin for two months and her friends, many of whom she'd met through the Rose of Tralee festival, flocked to Beaumont Hospital when they heard she'd fallen ill in January 2012.

"It's hard to remember our friendships before Adrienne passed away," says Niamh, who was the Dublin Rose in 2010. "I think it's hard to remember that we weren't always this close because I think from the moment we got word that she'd been brought to hospital, we were all there, especially to keep vigil until her parents arrived from Texas."

In the aftermath of her death, Adrienne's friends wanted to do something in her memory that was also going to be of practical use in researching aneurysms. There is still much to be learnt about how aneurysms can be diagnosed and treated. In Adrienne's case, it's thought that the aneurysm was probably present since birth.

Pictures from the Rose of Tralee International Festival 2010. On Friday the Roses and their Escorts attended the annual Rose Ball at the Carlton Hotel, Tralee.  Pictured is the Texas Rose Adrienne Hussey with Escort Eoin Treanor from Monaghan.

- Photo By : Domnick Walsh / Eye Focus LTD ? 

Tralee Co Kerry Ireland 

Phone  Mobile 087 / 2672033

L/Line 066 71 22 981 

E/mail -
Texan Rose Adrienne Hussey and her escort, Eoin Treanor, who later became her boyfriend.

"Many of us in Ireland only knew Adrienne for two years and she was in America for a lot of that time as well," says her friend Barry Prendeville, who was a Rose escort in 2010. "But we felt that connection with her and while it was a short time that we might have known her, it felt like we'd known her her whole life.

"After she died, we were faced with a choice – either we accept this and sort of wallow in it or let it break us, or we could use it as an inspiration, use it to power on and do something good and hopefully help somebody.

"I've always said that if we can help even one person, it will have been worth doing. It's keeping Adrienne's name alive, too, and doing good in her name."

The group formed 'Friends of A', reflecting the fact that a lot of Adrienne's friends at home simply referred to her as 'A' and that nickname later caught hold with her Irish pals.

The charity has set up a research scholarship in association with the University of Limerick that will specifically look into brain aneurysms. Funding is being shared between the university and the charity, which means they have plans to fundraise both this year and every year.

"We have something going on nearly every month," says Niamh. "One of our big events will take place this August – it's a walk that will be just over 300 kilometres long and will start at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin and end in Tralee during the Rose of Tralee festival. There'll be a core group walking all of it but we hope to have some people in each county as we go.

"Aneurysms can happen at any time to anybody, anywhere, so it's important to us that a national message goes out and we can do that going through lots of counties."

The walk will poignantly start at the hospital where Adrienne was treated and end at the place that was a meeting point for her and her friends.

Niamh remembers getting to know Adrienne because she sat behind her on the festival bus.

"You're allocated seats in the Rose bus that goes around the country and you stay in the same seats for the whole tour.

"I was hiding back a bit from the photographers but Adrienne was the first Rose that I got a photo taken with. For a shy-ish, at the time anyway, West Clare lad to meet this Texan beauty who was so chatty . . . she had the country hat on too!"

Adrienne made friends easily and hit it off with her escort, Eoin Treanor, who later became her boyfriend.

He was one of the main motivations for her move to Dublin in late 2011.

Irish Independent

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