Berkeley balcony survivor is making ‘great progress’

Clodagh Cogley's family posted this photo of her. 'Lovely new photo of Clodagh working hard and making great progress. And sporting a new hairstyle!'
Clodagh Cogley’s family posted this photo of her, noting she had a new hairstyle.

The family of a 21-year-old Irish woman who was seriously injured in the collapse of a fifth-floor balcony at the Library Gardens apartment building in Berkeley has posted photos of her progress on a Facebook page.

Clodagh Cogley was one of 13 people who fell nearly 50 feet to the ground after the balcony failed on June 16. Six of her friends were killed, and she and six others were seriously injured.

Cogley suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder and broken knee, five broken ribs and a broken spinal cord, according to her Facebook page. She is making “great progress,” according to the Facebook page.

Cogley said on Facebook last week that chances were “bleak” that she can use her legs again. Yet the Trinity College, Dublin, student showed an amazing determination to look on the bright side of the accident.


“Life is short and I intend to honor those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible,” Cogley wrote, as Berkeleyside reported last week in an update about the conditions of all the survivors.

Cogley has moved to a rehabilitation facility in Santa Clara, one, she excitedly reported on Facebook, with dog therapy.

     Read complete balcony collapse coverage on Berkeleyside.

Her family has launched a fundraising campaign to adapt their Dublin home to accommodate a wheelchair. So far, in just four days, people have donated 15,000 euros, or nearly $17,000. The goal is 25,000 euros, or nearly $28,000.

Clodagh Cogley with dog
Clodagh Cogley in the hospital with a therapy dog

“Clodagh was seriously injured in the recent balcony collapse in Berkeley and her life will never be the same again. But like everything Clodagh has ever done she’s facing into this with courage and determination,” the gofundme page states.

It continues: “In a recent inspirational Facebook post Clodagh herself urges all of us to ‘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.’”

“We want to give Clodagh the best start possible as she embarks on this new phase in her life. Her family house will need to be adapted significantly to meet Clodagh’s needs and accommodate a wheelchair and there’ll be numerous other expenses – we want to help with this.

Six young people died in the early hours of June 16 when the balcony gave way: Ashley Donohoe, 22, from Rohnert Park; and Olivia Burke, Eimear Walsh, Eoghan Culligan, Niccolai Schuster and Lorcán Miller, all 21 years old and from Ireland.

Of the seven injured, two students, Sean Fahey and Conor Flynn, have been released from the hospital, Philip Grant, the Irish consul general for the Western United States, told Berkeleyside last week. Fahey has returned to Ireland, while Flynn remains in Walnut Creek to be “monitored,” Grant said. Jack Halpin remains at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.

None of the other injured students would be returning to Ireland for several weeks, Grant said, because of the protocols surrounding their various injuries, specifically lung injuries. After puncturing or collapsing a lung, an injured person cannot fly on an airplane until fully recovered.

Related:
Berkeley balcony passed inspection before collapse (07.01.15)
Library Gardens builder seeks to stop DA from examining balcony without it being present (06.30.15)
Irish Consul General: J-1 visa student community a source of ‘great pride’ (06.26.15)
DA launches criminal investigation into balcony collapse (06.25.15)
‘Severely dry rotted’ timber found after balcony collapse; city plans to stiffen safety rules (06.23.15)
Church services held for balcony collapse victims (06.20.15)
Protesters demand halt on new construction in Berkeley (06.19.15)
No ‘smoking gun’ in Berkeley balcony design (06.19.15)
As students recover in hospitals, support grows for survivors, victims of balcony collapse (06.18.15)
Coroner releases autopsy results on balcony victims; first responders sought help for stress (06.18.15)
City posts documents from balcony collapse property (06.18.15)
People gather to remember victims of Berkeley balcony collapse (06.18.15)
Firm that built Berkeley complex has been fined, sued (06.18.15)
Support springs up for families, friends of deceased (06.17.15)
As Berkeley orders removal of second balcony, questions over quality of construction (06.17.15)
Berkeley building under scrutiny before balcony collapse (06.17.15)
Mayor, consul general, lay wreaths to honor 6 killed in Berkeley balcony collapse (06.16.15)
Six who died in Berkeley: Young students in their prime (06.16.15)
Six students killed in Berkeley balcony collapse identified (06.16.15)
Berkeley orders balcony removal after tragedy kills 6 (06.16.15)
Berkeley balcony collapse leaves 6 students dead (06.16.15)

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