Assault victim Joleen Corr dies in her mother's arms after treatment withdrawn

The last picture of Joleen Corr, holding her mother Carol's hand
Marie Louise McConville

JOLEEN Corr, who suffered catastrophic brain injuries in an alleged assault at her Co Down home, has died in her mother's arms at a hospice.

It was agreed earlier this month that the 27-year-old's treatment would be withdrawn after medics told her family "nothing more can be done".

She passed away at 1.50am yesterday morning at the hospice where she had been for the past 10 days.

Her mother Carol said the loss of her beloved daughter had left her "numb inside".

"I can't believe she's gone," she said.

"I feel empty.

"She took her last two breaths in my arms. It was a beautiful experience but it was awful."

Joleen Corr pictured with her mother, Carol, before the attack

The mother-of-one was left fighting for her life after she was beaten in her home in Downpatrick in December 2016.

The trained beautician suffered a broken jaw, facial injuries, an ear injury and severe bruising.

Joleen, who is originally from the Beechmount area of west Belfast where her family live, spent six months in the neurological unit in the Royal Victoria Hospital and was transferred to Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast where she was treated in a specialist brain injury clinic in May.

However, doctors told her parents that the left side of her brain was dead and its stem damaged, meaning it was unlikely she would ever recover from the head injuries.

Ms Corr said Joleen's sisters, Cherie, Chloe and Christine were also present when the young mother passed away as well as her brother Jim and other family members.

"To see her at the end tore me to shreds," she said.

"When they finally had to come and take her, we walked behind her.

"The hospice was amazing. The doctors and nurses and staff, people are so nice and dignified."

Ms Corr said their life since Joleen had been assaulted had been "a complete and utter nightmare".

"It’s been horrendous. I felt like I was in a nightmare," she said.

"These past few months all I could think about was how cruel life had been for her, at the end, I seen her in a different light, everyone was so dignified. "

Ms Corr said she wants people to remember Joleen "for the beautiful person she was inside and out".

"She is going to get the best send-off. It is going to be sad but it is going to be powerful.

"She is away into the arms of my mummy, her granny, Patsy and no better person.

One man, Michael O'Connor, has been charged in connection with the attack. He has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and grievous bodily harm and is currently remanded in custody.

O'Connor, originally from Westrock Grove in west Belfast, is understood to be Ms Corr's ex-partner.

No date has yet been set for his trial.

Read more: Prosecutors are to review the charge faced by the man accused of attacking Joleen Corr

Joleen at her family home in west Belfast 

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