Berkeley survivor’s family ‘so proud’

Aoife Beary, one of the survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse, has made significant improvements in her recovery. She has just been moved to a new facility so she can start her rehabilitation.

According to a statement released by Aoife’s family on their Facebook page ‘Friends of Aoife Beary’, the 21-year-old spent the last two weeks in a high-dependency unit.

She has now been moved to the brain injury unit at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Centre Rehab Facility in California. “[The rehabilitation] will involve a daily schedule of physio, occupational and speech therapy at the centre, six days a week for the coming weeks,” said the post.

“Friends who stayed, in addition to those who have returned, continue to call in on a daily basis to share the gossip and encourage her along. Everyone is so proud of her. This continues to be a long path to recovery and Aoife knows there are so many people out there who are thinking of her and wishing her well.”

The student, from Blackrock, Co Dublin, had been celebrating her birthday in San Francisco in June when a balcony gave way, killing six of her friends and injuring six others. Those who died were Niccolai Schuster, Eoghan Culligan, Ashley Donohoe, Olivia Burke, Ashley Donohoe and Lorcan Miller.

Aoife was seriously injured in the incident and remained in a critical condition for weeks. She began to wake from her induced coma at the start of last month.

She will now follow along the path set by fellow survivors Clodagh Cogley, Niall Murray and Hannah Waters who also began their rehabilitation at the Santa Clara facility.

The families of all four survivors released a joint statement last week to thank everyone who has helped them and said their “constant thoughts and prayers” are with the families of the deceased.

“We are also very mindful of the many friends who were there in Berkeley that terrible night, some of whom were also seriously injured and others who responded so tenderly to the needs of our children at the scene and in the immediate, horrific aftermath.

"We are so grateful for what they have done and for what they are continuing to do,” they wrote.

It is understood the remaining survivors, Sean Fahey, Conor Flynn and Jack Halpin, have been discharged from hospital and have returned home.

An online fund has been set up to help the victims and their families. So far, more than €257k has been raised.

To donate, go here.

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