A heatrbroken Belfast dad has paid an emotional tribute to his daughter following her tragic passing last week.
Aoife McCloskey (23) from Waterloo Park, just off the Antrim Road, passed away on June 3 following a short illness.
Her Funeral Mass took place on Monday at Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne.
The former Little Flower and Mercy College pupil had worked as a hairdresser for the past three years.
Aoife fell ill at the end of February with heart failure and miraculously survived after being told she only had a 25 per cent chance of pulling through.
The young woman fell ill again a fortnight ago before sadly passing away on June 3.
Speaking to the North Belfast News, her heartbroken father, Stephen explained: “Aoife fell ill at the end of February. She was in intensive care for about four weeks.
“The hospital called me and my wife and told us she had heart failure and there was only a 25 per cent chance of her pulling through. She was in surgery for 11 hours.
“I sent a message out to friends to prayer for her. People were praying all over the world and she pulled through.
“She was home from hospital after five weeks. She was doing so well and helped out with her sister, Leah with the dog grooming.
“She fell ill again on the Saturday (May 29). She went for a heart scan and they found a blood infection. They kept her in.
“On the Wednesday morning (June 2), the hospital phoned to tell us Aoife had fallen very ill. We were there before 7am.
“She was moved to ICU in the Royal. We were able to tell her we loved her. It was the last time we spoke.
“Aoife was sedated. The whole family were at the hospital by Wednesday night. I managed to call Father Frank [Trias] who came over to the hospital who gave Aoife the anointing of the sick and enrolled her in the Brown Scapular.
"It is a garment of Grace promise that anybody who dies wearing it will be taken straight to heaven by the Blessed Mother.
“We were then told Aoife only had a few hours left and she passed away at 4am on the Thursday.
"I was sitting thinking the next morning of all the different events that have happened. I believe it was God's grace to send Aoife home to us following her initial recovery in February."
Paying tribute to his daughter, Stephen continued: “Aoife was just a beautiful and lovely girl.
"‘Wee Aoife’ out of all our children was the one that did the most crying.
“One of the earliest memory I have of her was when I was painting a step from the hall into the room. I went and got a cup of tea and came back and saw footprints on the paint.
“I knew it was Aoife and I called her down. She denied it and went upstairs to put socks on her. The paint was actually on the feet.
“She was a very popular girl and she will be sorely missed by everyone.”
Stephen says the family wants to thank everyone for their messages of support following Aoife’s passing.
“The house has been very busy with people calling, including people I hadn't seen in a long time. As a family, I want to thank everyone for coming and showing their support.
“On the Thursday evening, Father Frank told me during prayers at the house that Aoife’s presence was with us. It was a very touching moment.
“I want to thank Dr Graham, Dr Quinn Beattie, Dr Roberts at the Royal Victoria Hospital and all the staff at cardiac heart ward.
“I want to thank Fr Frank Trias of the Divine Mercy Prayer Group, who led the funeral service on Monday, and Fr Francis Ferry who came down from Donegal to lend his support.
“Robbie Ross, a friend from Liverpool told me we are all on a bus in life and get off at different stops. It was time for Aoife to get off the bus.
“The only thing that matters is love. At the funeral, I told people to go home and love your family."
Aoife is survived by her parents, Stephen and Seaneen, brother Stephen and sisters Leah and Jade.