herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Condition of fall student Aoife (21) stabilises after op

BERKELEY

the condition of one of the Irish students injured in the Berkeley balcony collapse has stabilised after she underwent heart surgery.

But Aoife Beary remains in a critical condition following her emergency transfer from Highland Hospital in San Francisco, where she was being treated, to the Stanford Medical Centre in Palo Alto for the successful operation on June 26 last.

The 21-year-old, from Blackrock, Co Dublin, was critically injured in the horrific balcony crash at an apartment complex three weeks ago.

Overwhelmed

A Facebook page set up by her family to provide updates on her recovery said that "a serious head injury remains her main concern".

"The Beary family are overwhelmed by the support, best wishes and prayers received for themselves and Aoife from friends and colleagues far and wide," the Facebook page said.

"She has made steady progress over the last number of days, and both her medical team and parents are optimistic that she will make a good recovery. This will be a long and slow road to recovery over many months to come.

Aoife's parents Mike and Angela will remain at her bedside for the foreseeable future, and the family are currently making arrangements for her sister Anna and brother Tim to travel to Stanford to join them.

It is understood that Aoife was celebrating her 21st birthday on the day the balcony collapsed, killing six people.

A preliminary investigation by city authorities blamed dry rot in the balcony's timber supports, and the local district attorney has launched her own probe into the tragedy.

Ashley Donohoe (22), Olivia Burke (21), Eoghan Culligan (21), Niccolai Schuster (21), Lorcan Miller (21) and Eimear Walsh (21) all lost their lives.

Seven other students, including Aoife, were injured in the incident.

Separately, 24 people have been injured after a deck coll-apsed in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, on Saturday.

Nails deteriorated by years of exposure to the sand, salt and moisture from the ocean gave way, causing the deck to collapse as the group posed for a picture, authorities said.

They fell about 10 feet to the ground. Five remained in hospital yesterday.

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