June 15, 2021

‘I was severely brain damaged’ – young Bray woman thanks public as she reveals remarkable recovery after horror fall

A young Bray woman who was seriously injured in a climbing accident in New Zealand has warmly thanked all her friends, family and members of the public who helped raise money for her rehabilitation.

Orlagh Hanratty (26), of Newcourt Road, is lucky to be alive after she fell around 30 foot from a cliff while on a rock climbing trip near the city of Dunedin.

Her father Tommy, who is well-known locally as the owner of Everest Cycles, and mother Jenny flew to New Zealand to be by her bedside.

Orlagh has revealed she initially suffered severe brain damage as a result of the fall, and admits that for a while she “didn’t know how I would be left in the long run”.

But after a very long stay in hospital and six tough months of rehabilitation, the popular Bray woman took to social media to thank everyone who helped her on her long road to recovery.

Orlagh wrote: “I originally didn’t want to do this because its very cringe but 2019 was such a whirlwind of a year and I wanna say a big thanks. The first photo [above] was taken at the beginning of the year – I was severely brain damaged and they didn’t know how I would be left in the long run; initially they had no hope, and for a long time it didn’t look good for my recovery. The second photo [bottom] was taken on the last day of November – myself and Linnette having prosecco by the lake to celebrate being signed off as level 1 instructors in the wind tunnel, a dreeeam since I started skydiving and discovered what the tunnel was.”

Orlagh admitted that at one point she didn’t know if she would “ever fully recover” from her injuries. But she said she now only has some “minor effects” from the fall, but “nothing that holds me back anymore or that I care about all things considered”.

She added: “While I pushed really really hard to get back on my feet on my own here and start working 2 months earlier than they told me I would so I still had a visa and could try to stay in New Zealand, a huge part of being able to do that was down to the incredible help and support from people back home. I have spent the past 10 months wanting to write something about the GoFundMe and explain to you guys how much you all helped with that beyond financially (but also very very much so financially).

“I genuinely am confident that not having that strain allowed my brain to recover as well as it did, but I keep finding it overwhelming and cringing (even though this year racap is as cringe as it gets). I will write it at some point, but for now I just want to say thanks to all of you people – 2019 has had a lot of challenges but in the end I am privileged to be able to call it a success story for me. Despite all the pain and shite it will always be a year I look back on as a positive and feel so much love and gratitude and you guys are to thank for that.  Hope yis all have the best 2020 filled with the bomb-ass good karma you’ve earned.”

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