Berkeley injured making ‘tremendous’ progress

Six Dublin students still being treated in California following fatal balcony collapse

Aoife Beary, who was injured in the Berkeley balcony collapse.

Aoife Beary, who was injured in the Berkeley balcony collapse.

 

Six Dublin students injured in last month’s balcony collapse in Berkeley who are still being treated in California have made “tremendous” progress, according to the Irish Consul in San Francisco.

Five of the seven students injured in the collapse that killed six others are still being treated in hospitals three weeks after the incident.

Two have been discharged from hospital, though one of those remains in the San Francisco Bay Area because he is unable to fly.

“With the support of their families, friends and the amazing care they have [received] at the medical facilities, all of the students have made tremendous progress over the past number of days,” said Irish Consul in San Francisco Philip Grant.

“It has been nothing short of exceptional in a number of cases.”

The family of Aoife Beary said she had made “steady progress” in recent days. She remains in a “critical condition” and “a serious head injury remains her main concern”.

The 13 students who fell from the fourth-floor balcony were celebrating Aoife’s 21st birthday at the time of the incident in the early hours of June 16th.

Ms Beary, from Blackrock, underwent successful heart surgery in Stanford Medical Centre in Palo Alto near San Francisco on June 26th and her condition has stabilised, her family said on the Facebook page, Friends of Aoife Beary.

“Both her medical team and parents are optimistic that she will make a good recovery,” the family said.

“This will be a long and slow road to recovery over many months to come.”

The former Loreto College Foxrock student is said to be awake and reacting to her family but unable to speak because of a tracheotomy.

“Aoife is - unexpectedly and very pleasantly - making good progress. Everyone is pleased with how she’s doing,” said a source close to the families.

Medical rehabilitation

Hannah Waters (21), from Castleknock, and Clodagh Cogley (21) from Milltown, are both being treated in a medical rehabilitation centre in Santa Clara, south of San Francisco.

Ms Waters was critically injured in the fourth-floor balcony collapse and is said to be responding well and undergoing rehabilitation.

Ms Cogley, who suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, broken ribs and a broken spinal cord, will remain in hospital in the US for several more weeks.

She has said on Facebook that the chances of her using her legs again are “pretty bleak”.

Niall Murray (21), from Rathfarnham, who has a hand and leg injuries, has undergone surgeries and is expected to have further surgeries.

He is being treated in two San Francisco hospitals which specialise in repairing the injuries to his limbs.

Jack Halpin (21), from Rathmines, has had multiple surgeries, including an operation for a broken leg.

He is undergoing rehabilitation at John Muir Medical Centre in Walnut Creek, east of San Francisco.

Conor Flynn (22), from Mount Merrion, was discharged from hospital two weeks ago and is staying with his family in the Bay Area.

He is unable to return to Ireland as he recovers from a punctured lung.

He is expected to have a follow-up appointment with doctors in the coming weeks to assess whether he is fit to fly.

Sean Fahey (21), from Rathmines, the first to be released from hospital, was discharged two weeks ago. He has returned to Ireland.

It is too early to say yet which of the remaining five hospitalised students will be the next to be discharged, a source said.

Inter-disciplinary medical teams were starting to assess their conditions, a positive sign of the progress they are making.