Aoife facing long road to recovery from brain injury but is 'doing well'
A COUSIN of Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary has said the Dublin student faces a long road to recovery from the serious injuries she suffered in last month's balcony collapse in California.
Eimear O'Doherty, a first cousin of Blackrock girl Aoife (21), said she is "doing well" since being moved out of intensive care to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Centre for rehabilitation.
However, the extent of the former Loreto College Foxrock student's brain injury is still unknown.
"She is doing well and has been moved out of ICU. She has her good days and her bad days," said Eimear.
"The biggest concern is her brain injury, so that's going to be a long road."
Primary school teacher Eim-ear (24) flew to the States after the Berkeley tragedy when the balcony of Aoife's apartment gave way as she celebrated her 21st birthday. Aoife was in a coma until earlier this month.
Eimear said she is unsure if Aoife recognised her when she visited her in hospital.
"I think she did, but it's hard to say. Nobody can tell the extent of her brain injury," she said.
Eimear added that she briefly met survivors Hannah Waters (21) and Clodagh Cogley (21) while visiting Aoife in the rehab centre.
"Both are doing well, they are very busy in rehab," she said.
She paid tribute to other J1 students in San Francisco who she said have been incredibly supportive of Aoife and the other injured victims, and the emergency services who attended the scene.
"The students have given us endless lifts and even offered to take Aoife's little sister and brother out for the day," she told 2fm's Driveby.
Eimear gave details of a fundraising event for Aoife that will take place on Saturday in Old Wesley Rugby Club in Donnybrook. A friendly tag- rugby tournament sponsored by Leinster Rugby and the IRFU will be held to raise funds to help cover Aoife's rehabilitation.
Meanwhile, Manchester United's new star Bastian Schweinsteiger posed with a picture of himself meeting tragic Berkeley victim Niccolai Schuster after United took on local MLS side San Jose Earthquakes as part of their summer tour of the States.
All of the players wore black armbands and stood for a minute's silence in memory of those who died in the balcony collapse.
Schweinsteiger shared a photo of the pair together, adding a touching message of condolence on his official Facebook page.
"The news makes me very sad," he said.
"I wish you, the family and all the relatives of Nick strength in these difficult times.
"I would also like to express my heartfelt condolences to everyone else affected by this tragedy."