Berkeley survivor Aoife Beary wakes from coma

Survivor of balcony collapse begins to communicate with family and medics

J1 student Aoife Beary, who was seriously injured after a balcony collapse in Berkeley that killed six students last month, has started to wake up from her coma.

The 21-year-old from Blackrock in Co Dublin had been celebrating her birthday at her apartment in Library Gardens on June 16th when the fourth-floor balcony gave way.

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

Ms Beary suffered serious injuries and had been put in an induced coma after the incident.


Her family released a statement through the Facebook page Friends of Aoife Beary that she had begun to communicate with her parents and the medical team.

“Aoife is still in the ICU but is no longer on the critical list,” it said

“She has slowly started to awaken from the induced coma - this process is expected to take some time.”

It said Ms Beary had a tracheotomy in the last week and continued to make steady progress on her “long road to recovery”.

Her parents, Mike and Angela, remain at Ms Beary's bed side at Stanford Medical Centre in Palo Alto near San Francisco.

The former Loreto College Foxrock student underwent successful heart surgery on June 26th, after which her condition had stabilised.

Her family said a serious head injury remained her main concern.

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 for several more weeks.

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

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

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.

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

The students who died were Lorcán Miller, Eimear Walsh, Niccolai Schuster, cousins Olivia Burke and Ashley Donohoe and Eoghan Culligan.

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty

Rachel Flaherty is Digital Features Editor and journalist with The Irish Times