Northern Ireland news

Co Armagh woman tells of 'heartbreaking' loss of daughter (18) a year and a half after husband dies

Natasha McElroy (18), from Newtownhamilton in Co Armagh, died on Saturday at the Royal Victoria Hospital, two weeks after collapsing at home
Marie Louise McConville

THE mother of a Co Armagh teenager who died just two weeks after falling ill at home has spoken about her "heartbreaking" loss.

Natasha McElroy, who was 18 and from Newtownhamilton, died in the intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday.

The tragedy comes just a year and a half after her father's death from illness aged 53.

The teenager, who was studying to become a dog groomer, collapsed at her home on March 20.

A former pupil of St Paul's High School in Bessbrook, she was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital where it was initially thought she had pneumonia.

She was then transferred to the ICU at the Royal Victoria Hospital where a series of tests were carried out.

Doctors discovered that both Natasha's lungs were filled with blood clots. In addition, it was also found that she was bleeding from the small bowel.

Medics told Natasha's mother, Mary McElroy that her daughter's "blood stream was full of blood clots" which doctors said was highly unusual.

On Saturday, medical staff asked the family to come to the hospital as Natasha's condition had deteriorated.

However, the young woman passed away just 20 minutes before her mother reached her.

The teenager's sudden death comes just 19 months after her father, Martin died at the age of 53.

Speaking to the Irish News, Mrs McElroy told of her devastation of also losing her daughter.

She said that as she made her way to the hospital she knew Natasha had gone as she "got that feeling".

The mother-of-four said doctors told how a huge clot travelled to her heart proving fatal.

Mrs McElroy, a childminder, said her daughter's death had been "heartbreaking".

"It is so hard," she said. "I just wish I had been with her.

"It is heartbreaking. She lost her daddy 19 months ago. She was a real daddy's girl. But she is up there with her daddy."

Mrs McElroy said her daughter, who adored her pet dog Teddy, would be remembered for her "kindness".

"Natasha would have been quiet girl and she never complained," she said.

"She could have been sitting in the living room and you would nearly forget she was there.

"She loved her designer clothes and trainers ...and friends and her main thing was Teddy."

She added: "I will remember her for her kindness. I still can't believe it."

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