Tributes have been paid to a 12 year old girl with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy who passed away at Cork University Hospital following a short life full of battles and courageously overcoming obstacles.
In the past week the Cork Ambulance Service, the Defence Forces, Cork City Fire Brigade, Cork gardaí and the Cork Airport Police Fire Service shone lights and lit candles for Abbey McGeough who was critically ill in hospital.
The Irish Air Corps Helicopter's MediVac helicopter shone a light from its base in Athlone whilst the Naval Service lit up the LE George Bernard Shaw.
Cork City Hall even lit up in pink for Abbey after local journalist Sarah Horgan proposed the idea to the Lord Mayor Cllr John Sheehan.
Paramedic with the National Ambulance Service Ger O'Dea, who co ordinated the Shine a Light for Abbey initiative, released a statement on behalf of the family in which he confirmed the death of the youngster.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I write this post on behalf of Abi's mom Leslianne, her grandparents Phil and Abina , aunts, uncles, family to bring the heartbreaking news that their wonderful princess has gotten her wings today and joined the angels in heaven.
She lit up so many rooms with her smile and touched so many people with her journey so may she now rest in peace and shine her light on all those who will miss her dearly.
Sincere thanks to all who lit it up for Abi and brought support and comfort to her family while she was in hospital."
Abbey's mother fundraised €60,000 for an operation in 2014 which enabled her daughter to walk using a mobility aid. Abbey underwent a life changing operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy at St Louis's Children's Hospital in Missouri.
Abbey who was from Dublin Hill in Cork city was born with hydrocephalus — a blockage of fluid to the brain — and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 2009.
Her grand aunt is Caitriona Twomey who does trojan work in the city with Cork Penny Dinners. Abbey, who was also known by the shortened version of her name Abi, was a member of the Rebel Wheelers Multi Sports Club. Her former pre school Glenfields Community Care remembered her as a child who never let obstacles get in her way.
"She was in a wheelchair and had other underlying health conditions but nothing ever stopped her. She smiled and laughed every day. Abi knew what fun was and she had an infectious sense of humour and knew how to get around all of us. She had so much courage and determination in her short life."
A prayer service was held for the 5th Class pupil of Rathpeacon National School at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Blarney on April 30th. Parents, staff and children watched the service by live stream. The parish of Blarney, Whitechurch, Waterloo and Rathpeacon paid tribute to Abbey on their Facebook page.
"Our brave battler slipped away peacefully late this afternoon. Another angel in heaven.
Our thoughts and prayers are now with her mom, Leslianne, her grandparents, Phil & Abina, her aunts, uncles and extended family.
Her family have many great memories of her to sustain them.
Thanks to everybody on this Parish Site for all your prayers and support.
The family greatly appreciate it."