One of the survivors of the Berkeley balcony collapse, Clodagh Cogley, took to Facebook yesterday to share an inspirational message of positivity, hope, and purpose. Her resilience in the face of this shocking tragedy is truly moving. Coverage of Clodagh’s remarks from irishcentral.com reads below.
By Frances Mulraney, June 25,2015
Clodagh Cogley, a survivor of the Berkeley balcony collapse that killed six young Irish people, has revealed she is paralyzed from the waist down.
“The fall from the balcony left me with 2 collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, 5 broken ribs and a broken spinal cord… Meaning the chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak,” she said.
She pledged to honor the victims of the tragedy by “living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible.” The brave Dubliner remains upbeat about her future despite receiving paralyzing injuries in the fall from the fourth-floor balcony.
Despite this, she maintains a positive outlook and aims to work hard throughout her rehabilitation therapy, showing good humor in the face of such extensive injuries.
“Not the best odds,” she continues, “but I’m moving to a great rehabilitation center here in San Francisco for 2 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 realize my talent for wheelchair basketball.”
Showing incredible maturity, Clodagh goes on to pledge her life to honoring the victims and making the most of her life.
“The thing I’m taking from this tragedy is that life is short,” she says, “and I intend to honor 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.”
Clodagh had previously thanked fellow survivor, GAA-star Jack Halpin, for helping to save her when the tragedy happened.
“[We] can’t believe how lucky she and the rest of the survivors were and Clodagh wanted to say particular thanks to Jack Halpin for grabbing her and breaking her fall,” her brother told the Irish Independent.
Granddaughter of legendary RTE rugby commentator Fred Cogley, Clodagh also received a message on Twitter from Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling wishing her a speedy recovery.
Clodagh was among the seven Irish J-1 students injured in the balcony collapse along with Jack Halpin (21), Hannah Waters (21), Aoife Beary (21), Niall Murray (21), Sean Fahey (21) and Conor Flynn (22).
Niall Murray and Sean Fahey had previously taken to social media to give thanks to those who have supported them since the tragedy occurred over a week ago.
“Thanks everyone for the support in such a dark time,” wrote Seán, the first of the survivors to leave hospital this week, along with a photo of the six victims.
Niall also paid tribute to the victims writing, “Thank you to everyone across the world for all the support you have given us through this dark time. To Nick, Culli, Lorcan, Eimear, Olivia and Ashley, words can not describe how much we are going to miss you all. May you rest in peace forever xxx.”
Ashley Donohoe (22), Olivia Burke (21), Eoghan Culligan (21), Niccolai (Nick) Schuster (21), Lorcan Miller (21) and Eimear Walsh (21) were killed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, July 16, when the fourth-floor balcony of an apartment complex on Kittredge Street in Berkeley collapsed while they were celebrating a 21st birthday.
It has been confirmed that the supports holding the balcony were destroyed by dry rot, making the balcony unsafe.