A NEW SCHOLARSHIP for research into brain aneurysms has been launched in memory of the 2010 Texas Rose, Adrienne Hussey, who died suddenly from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm two years ago.
The scholarship was launched by Rozanna Purcell, Irish rugby legend David Wallace and a group of Rose of Tralee participants and their escorts in memory of Adrienne, a social worker from Plano, Texas, who died in January 2011 in Dublin, aged just 26.
Cerebral aneurysms (CA) are localised swellings of arteries in the brain resulting from an acquired, or less frequently, a congenital weakness in the arterial wall. Beaumont Hospital treats 200 aneurysms every year.
Many people may be unaware of the presence of an aneurysm, but when they rupture it can cause catastrophic damage. Twelve per cent of patients die before receiving medical treatment, while a further 40 per cent may die within one month of the rupture if left untreated.
The Rose of Tralee group, ‘Friends of A’, approached Professor Tim McGloughlin, Head of the Department of Mechanical Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering, University of Limerick to set up the research scholarship in 2012.
The scholarship will be partly funded by the University of Limerick, with the remaining funds coming from private donations raised through fundraising by the group and University of Limerick Foundation.
The research will be guided by Professor Tim McGloughlin, Dr Michael Walsh, Joint Director, Centre for Applied Biomedical Engineering Research (CABER) University of Limerick, and Dr Alan O’Hare, Consultant Radiologist at Beaumont Hospital Dublin.
Adrienne Elizabeth Hussey represented Texas at the 2010 International Rose of Tralee Festival and immediately fell in love with Ireland and its people. She moved to Dublin in 2011.
Niamh Sherlock, 2010 Dublin Rose of Tralee, said that Adrienne’s sudden death had a powerful effect on the 2010 group, with Roses flying from all across the world to be present for her funeral in Ireland.
In the days following her death we pledged that she would not be forgotten and her name would continue to be associated with making a positive change. We have been working steadily on creating this scholarship and are very grateful to Professor McGloughlin, Dr Walsh, Dr O’Hare and Sarah Hartnett for affording us the chance to do this. This is a long-term project for us and with support of Adrienne’s family and friends in Texas we hope to make a real difference in her name.
One fundraising event planned for August to coincide with the 2013 Rose of Tralee festival will see members walking from Dublin to Tralee.