‘She had such a strong spirit and was one hell of a fighter’

By Mary Dennehy

TRIBUTES are this week being made to a brave and loving woman whose fighting spirit and will to live inspired people from right across the world.

Living in Jobstown, Amanda Denton, who experienced severe brain trauma after falling down stairs in May 2014, passed away suddenly on Saturday, August 25.

Amanda Denton and Tommy

Tommy and Amanda at home earlier this year (pic: the Echo) 

Amanda’s story has been shared over the years both through her Facebook page and in national and local media, with the 46-year-old mother never giving up despite the daily challenges she faced.

After spending six months in a coma after her fall, Amanda's partner Tommy Lee started a nationwide appeal in 2015 for Amanda, whom he believed had been left wasting away in a hospital bed while she waited for a place in the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH).

After Tommy’s appeal, Amanda was placed on a 12-week NRH programme.

Last year her family faced another challenge after Amanda was placed in a nursing home despite her loved ones wanting to care for her at home – a dream which eventually came true in January of this year.

Speaking with The Echo, Tommy said: “Amanda was back eating, everything was absolutely flying [at home].

“There were huge improvements in her since she came home and she was starting to stay awake longer.

“We weren’t expecting her to go so suddenly.”

Amanda Denton and Tommy 2 before

Amanda with Tommy before her fall in 2014

Amanda was admitted to hospital last week and, according to Tommy, she was “full of her usual cuddles” when he visited on Saturday.

However, Amanda, who was originally from Bluebell, sadly passed away later that evening.

Tommy, who cared for Amanda in their home with support from family, added: “Amanda was the love of my life, she was my soulmate and I’m heartbroken without her.

“When people have a brain injury their body may change but the soul never changes, Amanda was always Amanda.

 “She was the most beautiful, loving, caring mother and a brilliant grandmother.

“She was fun, bubbly and always liked to have a laugh.

“She had such a strong spirit and will to live and was one hell of a fighter.”

Amanda DentonPSAmanda inspired people across the world  

Tommy and Amanda documented their journey through a Facebook page, which celebrated all of the steps Amanda took in her recovery – such as her first sleep over in four years with her grandson earlier this month.

Amanda’s first taste of a real breakfast in July was also marked alongside her gaining control of her hand, and eventually feeding herself.

“There are around 400 tributes to her on Facebook from around the world,” Tommy said.

“Amanda inspired a lot of people with TBI [tramatic brain injury] to not give up, she inspired them so much.

“These are such fitting tributes to a woman who never said never.”

Amanda has been described on Facebook as a ‘legend’, ‘hero’ and an ‘inspiration’ – with one person commenting that Amanda and Tommy reached out to the world with a “story of love, perserverance and a lot of struggles and victories in a situation that nobody expects”.

Amanda’s funeral Mass will be held this Friday, August 31, in the Church of Our Lady of the Wayside, Bluebell, at 11am, after which she will be laid to rest in Mount Jerome Cemetery.

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