Bantry rallies around to help inspirational teenager Chloe

Bantry rallies around to help inspirational teenager Chloe

Chloe Keane with her brothers Steven (left) and David , her sister Jorden, and parents Stephen and Julia, in Bantry on Saturday. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

AN INSPIRATIONAL teen who it was unsure would survive an acute brain injury took a break from rehabilitation in Dun Laoghaire to attend a ball in her honour.

Chloe Keane was found unconscious after suffering an accident in the stables where she rides last August. The 16-year-old’s severe injuries, the causes of which are still unknown, resulted in her being airlifted to Cork University Hospital.

Doctors said there was a chance she might not live, but Chloe is astounding everyone with her phenomenal progress. Last Saturday night she stepped out in a beautiful evening dress for Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí’s Valentine’s Ball held in her honour.

Chloe Keane is a 16-year-old student from Bantry who suffered a serious brain injury in an accident last August.
Chloe Keane is a 16-year-old student from Bantry who suffered a serious brain injury in an accident last August.

Initially organised to cover her rehabilitation costs, Chloe is gifting all funds raised to the West Cork Rapid Response initiative. The Bantry girl’s mum Julia, dad Stephen, older sister Jorden and triplet brothers Steven and David were immensely proud of her selfless gesture. Chloe opened up about life after the accident.

“I don’t remember anything about the accident. I’m still annoyed that I missed my first time in a helicopter,” she laughed.

“It was really hard to adjust to the idea of going to Dun Laoighaire at first but they have been so nice. They speak to me, rather than going to my mum about things.

“They understand that I’m not a child anymore and I have my own voice now.”

She said that the experience has forced her brothers to grow up fast too.

“It was a lot for them to take in. They had to give up their weekends and take on different roles like cleaning the house while mum was looking after me. I didn’t realise the extent of what had happened but my family suffered a lot.”

Chloe’s school friends rallied around in the wake of the incident.

“Until this happened I never realised just how many friends I had. My friend Ellie Horgan organised the ball for me so I’m particularly grateful to her. I didn’t spend much time with my sister and brothers before the accident as I was always out riding but this has brought us all so much closer together.”

Chloe’s mum Julia said she hopes to one day be reunited with the team who saved her daughter’s life.

“I’ll never forget Dr Jason Van Der Velde’s words to me before stepping into that helicopter with Chloe,” Julia said.

Chloe Keane at the fundraising function in Bantry on Saturday. It was organised by her school friends in the West Cork town.	Picture: Eddie O’Hare
Chloe Keane at the fundraising function in Bantry on Saturday. It was organised by her school friends in the West Cork town. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

“He made a promise to get Chloe to CUH safely and kept that promise. Since then we have heard so many wonderful stories about him and the lives he has saved. He is our hero.”

She recalled her 19-year-old daughter Jorden’s bravery after Chloe was placed in a medically induced coma.

“Jorden pulled everyone through that night. She was on a mission to save her sister.”

Julia acknowledged just how lucky her daughter is.

“Her recovery has defied all odds. The people in Dun Laoighaire said they couldn’t believe that the girl they had on paper was the girl standing in front of them. She had to relearn everything including how to walk again. There is still a path ahead for us. Chloe still has cognitive issues and fatigue that we hope will improve in time but we’re 98 percent there. Her brain is healing all the time.”

Chloe Keane, who suffered a brain injury, with her sister Jorden Keane during her stay in hospital.
Chloe Keane, who suffered a brain injury, with her sister Jorden Keane during her stay in hospital.

She praised her children for their empathy and maturity.

“I can’t put into words just how lucky I am to have these four kids.

“If I could have handpicked my children I would have still chosen them.

They have showed such empathy and maturity these last few months. This experience has taught us that life can change in a second. There’s no point crying all the time. You have to stay positive.”

Chloe will return to the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire in a few days where she will continue activities such as aquatic physiotherapy, designed to help her improve her balance, among other therapies.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Catch up on the latest episode of Annie May and the Hit Brigade written and read by  Mahito Indi Henderson.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more