Long recovery ahead for Berkeley survivor Aoife

The family of Aoife Beary who remains in a critical condition after falling from a collapsed balcony in Berkeley, California, last month are expecting her recovery to be “long and slow”.

Long recovery ahead for Berkeley survivor Aoife

Aoife was celebrating her 21st birthday with around 40 other people in the apartment at Library Gardens when the accident happened. The student from Blackrock, Co Dublin, was one of seven injured in the tragedy that claimed six young lives on June 16. A serious head injury remains her main concern.

The Beary family have posted an update of Aoife’s progress on a Facebook page called Friends of Aoife Beary. The family wrote that Aoife’s condition had stabilised following successful heart surgery at the Stanford Medical Centre in Palo Alto on June 26. “She remains in a critical condition. A serious head injury remains her main concern,” they said.

Aoife’s parents, Michael and Angela, are with her and are making arrangements for her sister, Anna, and brother, Tim, to travel to Stanford to join them.

Another student who was injured was Hannah Waters from Castleknock, Dublin – her brother, Marty, recently said his little sister was “staying strong and battling through”.

Meanwhile, a group of students will hold a concert in the Academy in Dublin later this month to raise funds for the Berkeley survivors. The concert will be hosted by former Westlife singer, Nicky Byrne.

The transport minister has publicly praised Aer Lingus for how it helped the Irish families caught up in the tragedy.

Paschal Donohoe paid special tribute to the airline’s chief executive, Stephen Kavanagh and his senior management team, for the way the airline came to the aid of families and relatives during “a harrowing and difficult time”.

Mr Donohoe said: “The way Aer Lingus responded to the tragedy that the families and communities faced in the aftermath of what happened in Berkeley was an absolute credit to everybody working in the airline.

“It wasn’t a surprise to anybody that knows your company but it was support that was needed and has always been delivered in an unsung fashion. It’s a reflection of the kind of company Aer Lingus is.”

Despite the Government’s decision to sell its share in the airline to IAG, Mr Donohoe said he is confident that kind of response will occur again in the future, if required: “It is a reflection of the culture of the DNA within Aer Lingus. It is a reflection of some of the traits that are very special to Ireland.

“I don’t believe the way Aer Lingus responded to the aftermath of the Berkeley tragedy had anything to do with the fact that the Government had a shareholding in the company then.

“Nor do I believe that in the future, when that shareholding is disposed of, it will make any difference to the spirit that runs through that entire company.”

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