Grieving Donegal mum Michelle Devenney has spoken of her heartbreaking final memories of her daughter, Aimee.
Aimee Devenney died last year at the age of 14 due to an asthma attack. Her mother Michelle was interviewed on Barrscéalta on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Thursday about the tragedy, and the fundraising campaign for the Asthma Society of Ireland and Pieta House that the family has undertaken in memory of Aimee.
Aimee lived in Letterkenny and was a pupil in Coláiste Ailigh there, although she spent a lot of time in her mother’s homeplace of Rann na Feirste. Her mother described her on the programme as caring and kind.
“She was very good at music and drama, like her Granda. She was very kind and always had a smile on her face. She’d be very proud of the work we’re doing to help these charities.”
Michelle said that Aimee had suffered from asthma from when she was very young, and had almost died at age four because of an attack, but that she didn’t let it stop her and had dealt with her illness well.
Michelle Devenney was preparing to go into hospital to have a baby when she got a call from Aimee, who was staying with her grandparents in Rann na Feirste.
“Mammy, I need you to calm me down” was what her daughter said to her, and Michelle explained in the interview that Aimee would get a panic attack when she felt an asthma attack coming on, as she did that morning. Michelle did her very best to try to help Aimee to stay calm, but it was clear that things were very serious.
“That was the last time I spoke to her.”
Aimee collapsed at her grandparents house and an ambulance was called, but sadly they were unable to save her.
“They worked on her for a long time. They told me in the hospital that normally they only work on a case like this for twenty minutes, but that they had worked on her for two and a half hours, so I knew they had done everything they possibly could to save her.”
The first anniversary of Aimee’s death is on 15th December, and the family decided they would like to do something in memory of Aimee and to celebrate her life.
“We decided to collect money for two charities, the Asthma Society of Ireland, because people don’t know enough about asthma and how dangerous it can be … and Pieta House in Letterkenny. Aimee spent some time with them, she suffered a lot with her mental health. You would never think it, because she was always so happy go lucky, but they helped her through a really tough time and I’d like to give something back.”
A 10 km charity walk was to take place this Saturday 10 December in Letterkenny, but due to COVID Michelle is now asking people to complete the 10 km in their own area and to post photos to social media with #Aimee. You can support the campaign at : https://www.gofundme.com/f/asthma-society-pieta-nw-in-memory-of-aimee
At the end of the interview, Michelle spoke about how she is now after the year that has been.
“People say to me you’re so strong, you’re so brave…but I’m not… You just have to keep going.”
Michelle Devenney was interviewed on Barrscéalta on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta on Thursday.
Also this month, the SULT Committee is showing its support to Aimee’s family by hosting a charity raffle, where one lucky person will win a PS5 this Christmas. For more details, visit: www.sultcompetitions.com