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Badly injured Berkeley victim praised for bravery

The remaining wood from the Library Gardens apartment building balcony that collapsed in Berkeley, California. Picture by AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

An Irish student left with life-altering injuries after the Berkeley balcony tragedy has been praised for her remarkable bravery.

Clodagh Cogley (21) has been inundated with messages of support since she posted an inspirational message on Facebook after learning she was unlikely ever to regain the use of her legs.

The fourth-year psychology student at Trinity College Dublin revealed that after plunging more than 40 feet when a balcony collapsed at the Library Gardens apartment complex on June 16, her injuries included collapsed lungs as well as a broken shoulder, knee and ribs.

She also wrote of how her spinal cord had been badly damaged, adding: “Meaning the chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak.”

However, Clodagh said she was being transferred to a “great rehabilitation centre” in San Francisco and that she intended to “give it everything I've got”.

“The thing I'm taking from this tragedy is that life is short and I intend to honour 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."

The post had been liked by almost 30,000 people and shared by over 10,000 by yesterday afternoon, while hundreds more sent messages to the page from around the world praising Clodagh's bravery in the face of physical injury and grief at the loss of her friends.

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that DIT student Conor Flynn (22) had become the second person to be discharged from hospital.

Sean Fahey returned home to Dublin earlier this week.

Niall Murray (21) has been moved from the Eden Medical Center to another health facility in San Francisco, while Jack Halpin (21), who has been credited with breaking Clodagh's fall, remains at the John Muir Medical Center.

The most seriously injured victims, Aoife Beary and Hannah Waters, remain in a critical condition at Oakland's Highland Hospital.

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