Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland mum who lost son in crash suffers more grief as granddaughter dies

By Gillian Halliday

A woman who lost her teenage son in a crash has been left heartbroken for a second time after her baby granddaughter passed away suddenly.

Carmel Doherty, from Drumquin in Co Tyrone, was devastated when her son Killian (19) was killed alongside a friend in 2016. Now she has suffered further heartache after she lost her 14-week-old grandchild, Kasey-Leigh Enos.

Kasey-Leigh, who was the child of Carmel's daughter Charlene and son-in-law Phillip, passed away in Gainsborough, England, on May 16.

The infant's sudden death occurred just 11 days after Kasey-Leigh was the youngest competitor at a road race held in her uncle Killian's memory.

She participated in the event, which took place for the first time last year, in her pram on May 5.

Killian died following a collision that took place on the main A5 road between Omagh and Ballygawley in December 2016. The crash also claimed the life of his friend Maurice McCloughan (19) from Fintona.

Poignantly, the little girl was laid to rest alongside Killian in the cemetery of St Patrick's Church, Langfield in Drumquin, where her funeral service was held last Saturday.

It was the same church where mourners came to pay their last respects to her uncle nearly two years ago.

Carmel told the Ulster Herald that it was the wish of Kasey-Leigh's grieving parents that her granddaughter's final resting place should be beside Killian.

"Kaisey-Leigh's parents wanted to bring her home to be with Killian," she said.

"Kasey-Leigh and Killian are together for ever. I know he'll look after her because he had great time for children. He'll be able to keep his arms around her for eternity."

Carmel said the birth of Kasey-Leigh had brought immense happiness to the family, which is still grieving for Killian's loss.

"There was such great excitement when she was born because she brought us new hope after what happened to Killian," she added.

"It's so sad now seeing my own child going through what I experienced.

"There's nothing any of us can do or say to fix the broken heart of a mother who loses a child."

Describing her grandchild as a "real ray of sunshine in our lives" who was "always smiling", Carmel said that many of her late son's friends came to Kasey-Leigh's wake and funeral.

"That showed what he meant to them and they're still in contact with me every day," she added. "You never want to bury a child, never mind a grandchild and I thought the next person going to Killian's grave would be me. But I'm happy that Kasey-Leigh is with him."

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