Heartfelt tributes have been pouring in for 20-year-old UCC student Grainne O’Donnell who died of meningitis earlier this week, writes Kelly O’Brien
Grainne, originally from Cahir, Co. Tipperary, had been studying in Cork and living in The Lough area.
A number of devastated friends have been posting tributes and images since news of Grainne’s sudden death emerged.
“Grainne, I am honestly lost for words right now, you made such an impact on everyone’s life but honestly I don’t think my childhood would have ever been so full of memories if you and your family weren’t apart of that. I will never forget you or the memories we shared basically living in each others pockets growing up… sleep tight beautiful,” wrote one friend.
“I’m honoured to have called you my friend, gone but never forgotten. Love you Grainne,” wrote another.
In her death notice, Grainne’s family said she would be sorely missed by her loving family. She will be laid to rest tomorrow in Cahir.
UCC has since issued a statement saying it offers its sincere condolences to Grainne’s family, friends and classmates.
They said information about meningitis has been distributed to all students.
Earlier today, the Meningitis Research Foundation urged people to be aware of the symptoms of the condition.
“(We were) saddened to hear of the death of a student in UCC from meningitis. We would like to offer our sincere condolences to her family and friends – our thoughts are with them at this extremely difficult time,” said a spokesperson.
“Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It shares many of the symptoms of other, more common, everyday illnesses such as the flu or even a hangover. As a result it is vital that you are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of the disease, particularly the symptoms that are more unique to meningitis.”
Because Meningitis develops so quickly it can be a particularly devastating disease for those affected. It can also have a resounding effect on the surrounding community.
If anyone would like any further information, contact 01 819 6931, freephone 1800 41 33 44, or visit www.meningitis.org.
This story first appeared on the Evening Echo