29 May 2006

Family mourn loss of beautiful Bronagh


Teen’s memory lives on as organs are donated to save others

by Aine McEntee

Bronagh KellyThe West Belfast mother of tragic teenager Bronagh Kelly — who died on Thursday after an asthma attack — has spoken of her pride in the fact that Bronagh’s organs went to save lives.

Sixteen-year-old Bronagh died of the respiratory condition after being rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital’s intensive care unit.

Bronagh’s mum Maria McCarthy said she had been preparing herself for doctors asking about donating her daughter’s organs.

“I started thinking about it when I knew there was no chance she was going to come back,” the heartbroken Maria told the Andersonstown News. “Her brain had been starved of oxygen and I had myself resigned to the fact that she wasn’t for this world any longer."

“I said to myself, our loss is going to be someone’s gain. I started thinking that maybe her wee beating heart could live in someone else.”

Bronagh had been diagnosed with asthma when she was a little girl. Throughout her teenage life she battled against the debilitating medical condition but never let it hold her back.

“She was the life and soul of the place,” mum Maria.

“She loved her clothes and make-up, she was a real glamour girl. She was due to start beauty college in September because she loved it so much.”

Bronagh had attended St Rose’s High School and one of her best friends was fellow student Jamie Lee Rooney. The 15-year-old teen died in a horrific two car smash on the Falls Road just before Christmas last year.

Bronagh was a keen and dedicated camogie player and up until recently she played for Gort na Móna.
Her mum Maria said it was her asthma which had cut short her sporting career. Bronagh was the second youngest of six children.

Dozens of her friends gathered outside her family home in Turf Lodge at the weekend.

“The support from family and friends has been fantastic,” Maria said. “Its just incredible how many people knew Bronagh and how many friends she had. She was just really popular and everybody loved her. She would have done anything to help anybody, she was just like that.”

Bronagh’s funeral will take place on Tuesday at Holy Trinity Church. Before the funeral begins, Bronagh’s favourite song ‘I’m Your Angel’ by Celine Dion and R Kelly will be played. She will be buried afterwards in the City Cemetery.

Over five million people suffer from asthma and according to a recent health report by an asthma campaign group, levels in the North of Ireland are among the highest in Europe.

Journalist:: Áine McEntee

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