Family's heartbreak at loss of Aoife

A FAMILY spoke of the devastating loss of a daughter and sister who was in remission from leukaemia in a Victim Impact statement to the court during the hearing.

Ms Bridget O'Neill, Aunt of Aoife Kelly (pictured), read the statement to the court on behalf of Aoife's parents Peter and Marian and her sister Emma.

The statement said: ' On Friday, 3rd August, 2007, the first dramatic change came to our lives when our daughter Aoife was diagnosed with leukaemia. The next thirteen months were traumatic for our families as our daughter's life hung in the balance and most of her time was spent in University Hospital Cork.

'Both my wife Marian and I gave up work to spend all our time with Aoife. We watched our beautiful daughter fight her illness bravely and with dignity through long periods of pain, loss of her hair, being in isolation away from family, friends and a normal life.

'We stayed with her from early morning until late into the night encouraging her, helping keep her spirits up and praying for a good recovery.

'Aoife was an excellent patient, never complaining throughout her illness, and always putting on a brave face with that cheerful smile and endearing herself to all the hospital staff.

' Thankfully in late August 2008, Aoife returned home to get her life back on track. The prognosis was good - the leukaemia was in remission. Aoife almost immediately signed up to return to college to continue her Pharmaceutical Technician Degree course. Her future was looking bright. All our lives were beginning to return to normal with Aoife's good news and the birth of her sister Emma's second baby, Cathal.

' Tragically, Aoife's second chance at life was taken from her on the 18th September, 2008. Little did we realise how grateful we would be to have the memories of the intimate chats, jokes, laughter and tears we shared in Cork Hospital with Aoife. The tragic circumstances of Aoige's death not only shocked our family and friends but all of the village of Adamstown and surrounding districts. ' The death of Aoife has left a great void in our lives. We, her Mam, Dad and Sister, will never see Aoife as a bride or mother. Her niece Alannah and nephew Cathal, her loving family and loyal friends especially the love of her life, Derek, continue to sorely miss her. 'We watched Aoife grow from an energetic bubby baby to a unique stunning young lady. She had a special manner, was loved and respected by everyone. Along with her sister Emma she was our pride and joy.

'As parents the pain and grief we feel is unending and as people we are mere shadows of the people we were before Aoife was taken from us. The pain we feel will stay with us forever.

'We, Peter, Marian and Emma, will forever cherish the love Aoife gave to us through her short life'.

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