Meningitis girl had lost sister to virus

A MOTHER who lost a daughter to meningitis yesterday revealed her shock when she discovered another daughter had fallen seriously ill with the same infection.

Margaret Murray, from Ashfield in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, said she was worried when her daughter, Aoife, fell ill on the trip to the holy village of Medjugorje in Bosnia because one of her other children, Maria, died from the disease.

“I got such a shock, I nearly fainted when I heard she had meningitis.

“I was afraid it was going to take Aoife as well,” Mrs Murray said.

Aoife, 15, had travelled to Bosnia with her mother as part of a tour group but was taken ill a number of days ago. She was taken to Mostar Hospital for treatment.

“I suppose the initial shock was when we were away from home and telling Aoife’s dad that she has viral meningitis because it had struck her family before, and her sister and brother were devastated,” Ms Murray said.

“She is in middling form, she would like to be home with all her family and friends and so would I, so tomorrow [Thursday] please God we hope to travel to Dublin.”

Mrs Murray said the rest of the pilgrimage group returned home as scheduled earlier this week.

“They were devastated leaving us, we were very upset the day they were leaving but thank God, as the days went on we just kept praying to Our Lady of Medjugorje that we would get the strength to go on,” she said. “I just thank God and his Blessed Mother that she is as good as she is and we are ready to fly home.”

Mrs Murray said she did not panic when she found out Aoife was seriously ill so far from home.

“I suppose we have to put our trust in God no matter where we are in life,” she said.

“You see we were supposed to fly out here on the July 17 but because Joe Walsh Tours were overbooked we had to take the 24th, so I reckon that Aoife was meant to be in Medjugorje when this happened.”

Mrs Murray said the hospital conditions were not as good as in Ireland but the treatment the doctors and nurses gave Aoife was excellent.

She said she had been to the holy village on several occasions and found it a wonderful place of peace and healing.

“I always worry about her, being born after Maria, my daughter that died. So I know that Aoife is a lot stronger than I ever even imagined.”

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