A woman who was left in a vegetative state after an attack in 2016 has died, just days after a landmark ruling said she should no longer be kept alive.

Joleen Corr, 27, was severely injured in an assault at her home in Downpatrick County Down, and spent the last 16 months needing 24-hour care.

Due to her extreme pain, a judge ruled food and fluids should be withdrawn and the patient should be allowed to die.

The mother-of-one died “peacefully” on Thursday, according to her family.

Legal first

Her relatives and friends have paid warm tributes on social media.

They said Ms Corr, who was being treated at a Belfast hospital, “passed away peacefully in the arms of her mother and surrounded by loved ones”.

The decision to withdraw treatment and allow her to die is believed to be the first legal ruling of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The administration of food and fluids was stopped on Monday 16 April, and it is was expected that she would live for no more than 10 days.

Following the ruling earlier this month, Ms Corr’s mother, Carol, told the BBC her family was “absolutely devastated” but added that it was “not fair on her to make her have to cope with this pain any longer”.

‘History maker’

“She fought so hard for so long and we are all so proud of her for that.”

Referring to the unprecedented legal ruling, she added that her daughter would have been “proud to have been a history maker though, even if it is for something like this”.

She said that before the attack in December 2016, Ms Corr was “the happiest, bubbliest, most loving and beautiful girl in the world”.

“She was a great mum too – everything she did was for her son – and I’m going to miss her so much.”

Michael O’Connor is the only man charged in connection with the attack.

In January, he pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and grievous bodily harm. He is currently remanded in custody at Maghaberry Prison.

No date has yet been set for trial.


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