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Tearful tributes paid to mum in life-support case

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The Four Courts

The Four Courts

The Four Courts

AMID tears and heartbreaking tributes, the family and friends of the young woman and mother at the centre of the High Court right-to-die case finally said goodbye to their "bright and bubbly girl" who has been taken "all too soon".

Gifts of a pink mobile phone, photos of her two smiling, beautiful children and an angel doll were all placed beside the coffin of the young woman whose life support machines were finally turned off on Saturday, four weeks after she had been declared dead by hospital doctors.

As the final gift was handed over by the young woman's daughter, the tiny girl began crying for her mother who, the congregation heard, was now "with the angels".

Brave

A close family member said the world had lost an energetic and brave woman who was caring in nature "and genuinely interested in how people were getting on".

"She lived life to the full and she loved her friends," he said.

"[She] was a great communicator. She totally embraced the world of social media ... In the past, expectant mothers carried their baby scans around to show their friends and family.

"[She] posted the first picture of her unborn baby on Facebook to share the joy with us all," he told the congregation.

"[She] was a lot of things: bright and bubbly, full of fun, stubborn as a mule, beautiful inside, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a loving partner, a friend, and so much more. But sadly she was taken from us all too soon.

He also paid a special thanks to the family's legal team for their "hard work, dedication and compassion" as well as the staff at the two hospitals where she had received care, and other family members.

Songs Amazing Grace, Ave Maria, Imagine and Lean on Me were all played during the ceremony.

The decision to turn the life support machines was granted after much legal argument.

High Court Judges ruled on St Stephen's Day the machines could be switched off as the woman's unborn had little chance of survival outside the womb.

The unborn baby was remembered yesterday too by the chief celebrant at the mass who said he had been present when the life support machine had been turned off.

He praised the family for acting with dignity and courage through "a terrible ordeal", and said God had called back the young woman as "her work was completed".

Intimate

The intimate chapel was beautifully decorated as the community came together to help the family so stricken with grief.

Pink tassels were tied to the handles of the wooden coffin.

At the ceremony's end, a poem was read out by another family member in honour of the young woman.

During the court case, one doctor treating the pregnant woman had broken down in tears when testifying.

"She is a little girl with painted nails. But she is dead ... she is fully dead," he had told the court.

Through tears, a family member painfully concluded: "Finally it's with heavy hearts that we lay to rest today our little girl with painted nails. The angels are with you now."

hnews@herald.ie


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