Wednesday 21 February 2018

'Everyone is so proud of her' - New hope for Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary after release from high dependency unit

Injured student Aoife Beary
Injured student Aoife Beary

Cormac Fitzgerald

Berkeley tragedy survivor Aoife Beary has made a significant improvement in her recovery, it has emerged.

The brave 21-year-old Dublin student who has been battling life changing injuries following the collapse of a balcony at an apartment in Liberty Gardens in June.

Aoife has been released from a high dependency unit at a medical facility in the US.

Aoife from Blackrock in Dublin is now beginning an intense rehabilitation programme for brain injuries.

She joins fellow Berkeley survivors Clodagh Cogley, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters at the unit where they are receiving treatment for their injuries.

Aoife who had remained seriously ill since the tragic accident two months ago will receive intensive support six days a week at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Rehab Facility.

A family spokesman wrote on a Facebook post late last night: “Having spent the last 2 weeks in the high dependency unit, at last Aoife has started her rehabilitation programme at the brain injury unit in the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Rehab Facility.

“This will involve a daily schedule of physio, occupational and speech therapy at the Center, 6 days a week for the coming weeks. Her family remain by her side assisting and learning as well.”

The post revealed that Aoife’s spirits are being kept up by close family and friends.

“Friends who stayed, in addition to those who have returned continue of call in on a daily basis to share the gossip and encourage her along. Everyone is so proud of her.

“This continues to be is a long path to recovery and Aoife knows there are so many people out there who are thinking of her and wishing her well.”

Six youngsters, Eimear Walsh, Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan and Lorcán Miller, died in the accident following the collapse of the balcony on June 16th.

Aoife was one of seven injured – three of whom have already returned home.

Four remain in California receiving treatment. Clodagh Cogley, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters are all receiving rehabilitation treatment for their injuries.

Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn and Jack Halpin have returned home. 

Despite the ongoing improvements for all four students who remain in the US, the relatives of Aoife Beary, Clodagh Cogley, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters recently said their "constant thoughts and prayers" were with the families of the six students who died in the tragedy last month.

"We hope that our children will be able to make their way home in the coming weeks and months, when they are individually ready and sufficiently strong enough to do so," the families said in a statement issued last week. "We obviously share everyone's wish for speedy recoveries but we have found that every new week brings more complexity and that the road to recovery is far from straight, even in the very best of clinical environments."

They requested that when they eventually do return home, that their friends and well-wishers afford them the space needed to "physically and emotionally" continue their recovery.

"We don't know when this will be, and each will have their own thoughts, needs and time scales.

"But in the circumstances, we hope you will understand and accept our need as parents and siblings to be overprotective of our brothers, sisters and our kids for some time to come.

"They have been through so much."

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