A LIMERICK student who tragically collapsed and died in front of her classmates last week has been remembered for her bright smile, her warm nature and her dedication to her studies.
Rachael Hogan, from Castletroy, was only weeks away from taking her finals and collapsed while she was giving a presentation on her final year project at the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick on Thursday.
Speaking at her funeral mass in Milford on Sunday, Rachael’s sister Noelle expressed the family’s gratitude to those who supported the 22-year-old in her final moments.
“To those who were with Rachael when she passed we are eternally grateful. No words will ever express what we feel for you... You held her hand, talked to her and gave her more medical help than we could have,” said Ms Hogan.
“We want to say a special message to the students who were in college with Rachael especially those who were with her last Thursday. We want you to know we are thinking of you all. We all know Rachael would not want any of you back here repeating exams in August. We are sure she will give you the strength to carry on and get through the last few days in college. Stick together and you will push through to the finish line that’s what Rachael would have wanted and that’s what we want for you,” added Ms Hogan.
UL chaplain Fr John Campion spoke of the profound shock Rachael’s sudden death had on classmates and across the campus.
“For those present on Thursday, particularly her project group Conor, Jane, Darragh, Lorraine, her tutors Conor and Dave, and all those left behind, it was like a power failure with electricity suddenly going off,” said Fr Campion.
“For those close to Rachael, her death was a bit like that - the world was suddenly turned upside down and life was plunged into awful darkness.”
The services of university chaplains, counsellors and other welfare officers have been made available to students and staff at this time of grief.
The students union has also opened a book of condolences.
Mourners heard that Rachael suffered from epilepsy but it was a condition which she was able to deal with and which did not prevent her from living a full life. A preliminary post-mortem examination carried out last week proved inconclusive.
Rachael Hogan, from Golf Links Road, Castletroy, was the youngest daughter of Michael and Ann and is survived by her sisters Noelle and Sarah, relatives and many friends.