Sunday 23 October 2016

Berkeley survivor Clodagh Cogley (21) smiles bravely following tragic balcony crash

These pictures show brave Berkeley survivor Clodagh Cogley on the road to recovery.

The 21-year-old student is receiving treatment for life-changing injuries in San Francisco.

Clodagh suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, five broken ribs and also broke her spinal cord in the tragic Berkeley balcony tragedy. Six of her friends lost their lives in the accident and seven were injured.

Last week Clodagh explained in a heartbreaking Facebook post that it is unlikely she will ever walk again.

But these photos show the brave Trinity scholar is making progress in her rehabilitation.


Clodagh is beaming in both of the photos – one of which shows her spinal brace and another shows her lying on her hospital bed with a black Labrador dog.

The pictures were posted on a Facebook page set up to update friends and well-wishers on her progress earlier today.

“Clodagh and her family would like to thank everyone for all their support and good wishes,” the message said.

“The outpouring of support for Clodagh has been truly amazing and the donations to Clodagh’s fund so generous.

“We’ll be using this page to post updates on how Clodagh (and her famous therapy dog) are doing, as well as updates on the fund and how donations are being spent.

“Once again a big, big thank for all your support and generosity.”

The photo of Clodagh sitting on a chair was captioned: “Lovely new photo of Clodagh working hard and making great progress. And sporting a new hairstyle! We all love you Clodagh and miss you.”

The student from Milltown in Dublin is studying psychology at Trinity College and travelled to California on a J1 visa.

Last week she said that she was inundated with support from friends around the world.

“The fall from the balcony left me with two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, five broken ribs and a broken spinal cord... Meaning the chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak,” she wrote online.

“Not the best odds but I’m moving to a great rehabilitation centre here in San Francisco for two months (it has dog therapy) and intend to give it everything I’ve got.

“Who knows maybe legs have been holding me back all these years and I’ll realise my talent for wheelchair basketball

“The thing I’m taking from this tragedy is that life is short and I intend to honour those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.

“Enjoy a good dance and the feeling of grass beneath your feet like it’s the last time because in this crazy world you never know when it might be.”

Supporters and well-wishers have already raised more than €11,000 for her treatment via a GoFundMe page.

Niall Murray from Rathfarnham is also undergoing treatment in the US, as is Jack Halpin from Rathmines.


Sean Fahey, also from Rathmines, was badly injured in the incident but has been released from hospital, as has Conor Flynn from Mount Merrion.

Two other students, Hannah Waters from Castleknock and Aoife Beary from Blackrock, remain in Highland Hospital in Oakland, California.

Five Dublin students – Eoghan Culligan, Eimear Walsh, Niccolai Schuster, Olivia Burke and Lorcan Miller – along with Irish-American Ashley Donohoe were killed when the balcony they were standing on collapsed during an early-morning 21st birthday party on June 16.

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