for Aimee | 

Heartbroken mum of Donegal teen who died after asthma attack raises money for charity

Aimee Ní Dhuibheannaigh died last year at the age of just 14 after a severe bout of asthma
Aimee Ní Dhuibheannaigh

Aimee Ní Dhuibheannaigh

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

The heartbroken mother of a young teen who died after an asthma attack last year has spoken of the fundraising efforts being made in memory of her daughter.

Aimee Ní Dhuibheannaigh died last year at the age of just 14 after a severe bout of asthma.

Aimee, who lived in Letterkenny and was a student at Coláiste Ailigh, was described by her mother Michelle as “a very kind” girl who “always had a smile”.

Michelle spoke on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta's Barrscéalta programme on Thursday about the tragedy, and the fundraising campaign for the Asthma Society of Ireland and Pieta House charities in Aimee 's memory.

"She was very good at music and drama,” Michelle said. “She was very kind and always had a smile ... she would be very proud of this help for the charities."

Michelle explained that Aimee had been suffering from asthma since she was very young, but that she had recovered and did not suffer from the illness too much.

However, Michelle was preparing to go into hospital when she received a call from her daughter who was at her grandparents' house in Rann na Feirste that morning.

"Mammy, I need you to calm me down,” the young girl had said to her mother.

Michelle explained in the interview that Aimee panicked whenever she felt she was having a bad bout of asthma.

"That's the last time I talked to her,” Michelle revealed.

An ambulance was called, but unfortunately they were unable to save Aimee and she died.

"They tried to work on her for a while,” Michelle added. “The hospital told me (they) usually only work 20 minutes on a case like this, but (they’d) been working on her for two and a half hours. I was glad they did everything they could.”

The family later decided that they wanted to do something to remember Aimee and celebrate her life.

"We decided to raise money for two charities, Asthma Society of Ireland, because not many people know about asthma, how dangerous it can be ... and Pieta House in Letterkenny," Michelle said.

A 10 km walk in memory of Aimee was scheduled for Saturday, December 10 in Letterkenny, but because of Covid restrictions, Michelle and her family are urging people to walk the 10km in their area instead, and post pictures on social media with the hashtag #Aimee.

The campaign can be supported online at the GoFundMe page ( www.gofundme.com/f/asthma-society-pieta-nw-in-memory-of-aimee) that has already raised €21,885 of a €1,000 goal

At the end of the interview, Michelle talked about how she is now and the year she has endured since Aimee’s passing

"People tell me you're terribly strong, you're terribly brave ... no ... You have to keep going."

Writing on the GoFundMe page, Michelle said: “So as you all know my daughter Aimee passed away on the 15th of December 2020 a month after her 14th birthday.

“Aimee suffered all her life with asthma and had many hospital admission down through the years, but this time they couldn’t save her..what most people don’t know is Aimee also suffered with her mental health, with which she also had hospital admissions.

“Everyone knew Aimee as the happy, always smiling, always singing, outgoing girl she was and never would have thought she suffered with mental health issues. We never know who is suffering under the surface.

"Aimee had a few issues with some people being very unkind to her and this broke my heart as they were making an already difficult time for her even more difficult, you just never know how your words or actions can affect someone, no matter how strong or happy they seem.”

Michelle adds: “This December, with the help of my amazing family and friends I will take part in a 10k family run/walk in Letterkenny, anyone who knows me will know this will be a challenge but Aimee never complained about her asthma and never stopped her from doing everything she wanted to achieve so I will not complain or let anything stop me from completing this 10k in her memory.

“I will be fundraising from now until then in aid of the Asthma Society of Ireland and the northwest Pieta House where Aimee availed of services.

"Even if you don’t wish to donate to these causes please share this anyway to spread awareness of the dangers of asthma and also to be kind as we don’t know what battles people are fighting underneath.”

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