Northern Ireland news

Fundraising campaign launched to help Enniskillen woman hospitalised travelling to Medjugorje

A FUNDRAISING campaign was last night under way to help the family of a Co Fermanagh woman who remains in hospital in Croatia after falling ill while travelling to Medjugorje for a religious pilgrimage.

Jennifer Tierney from Enniskillen became ill on a flight from Dublin to Dubrovnik last week.

The 73-year-old was flying from Dublin as part of a group of 14, which included her husband, Dermot and daughter Orla Humphreys.

However, during the flight, Jennifer's husband could not waken his wife.

Despite being given oxygen by the cabin crew and the efforts of an on board doctor, Mrs Tierney remained unconscious.

On the plane landing, a waiting ambulance took the Enniskillen woman to hospital, where she last night remained.

Speaking to the Fermanagh Herald, Orla Humphreys, who remains in Dubrovnik with her mother, said the 73-year-old "was fine getting on the flight".

"I wasn't sitting beside her on the plane but as we were descending, I was told that my mother couldn't be wakened up," she said.

While doctors have ruled out a stroke, it is thought Mrs Tierney has encephalitis, inflammation of the brain caused by an infection or an autoimmune response.

Orla said her mother is now awake "but very ill and not in a good condition".

"We have been trying to get her home since last Thursday and we still have no dates set yet," she said.

"The doctors hope that she will make some kind of recovery from this illness but it'll take a long time."

She added: "It's been an emotional time but the support we have got from the people of Enniskillen has been overwhelming.

An online fundraising campaign to support the family has already raised more than £4,500

According to the page: "Any financial donation that you can make to support Jennifer and her family at this difficult time, no matter how small would be greatly appreciated and would provide the support that the family needs until Jennifer is back home where she belongs".

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