FORMER HUNTERHOUSE PUPIL BATTLING RABIES
distraught family of rabies victim Lisa McMurray, a former pupil
at Hunterhouse College, have thanked everyone for their support
at this difficult time and have said they are praying for her
They revealed they had been "extremely moved"
by the tributes that have poured in since she contracted the
deadly disease abroad.
Ms McMurray, understood to be in her 30s, is
still fighting for life at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital
after being diagnosed. However it is still unclear how she
contracted the disease.
She had been feeling ill for months after her
return before she admitted herself to hospital where she is in a
It is understood to be the first case of rabies
in Northern Ireland in 70 years.
Relatives, believed to be keeping a bedside
vigil, said in a statement: "We would like to thank all those
who have expressed their concern and who have contacted us to
let us know that their thoughts are with Lisa at this very
Our thanks also goes to the medical staff who
are working with skill and dedication to help her.
"We have been very moved by the kind words
that have been expressed by a number of people in relation to
Lisa and her work and we are very proud of the high esteem that
she is obviously held in.
"We ask everyone who knows her to keep Lisa
in their prayers and we would also ask that the privacy of her
family and friends is respected as we continue to hope and pray
for her recovery."
Health chiefs announced on Monday night Ms
McMurray had been struck down by rabies and was being treated in
isolation. The Eastern Board stressed the risk to others was
"negligible" as there has never been a documented case of
human-to-human transmission of rabies anywhere in the world.
Rabies was feared several days before Ms
McMurray was diagnosed, and the next few days are crucial in her
battle for survival.
She was initially treated at the Ulster
Hospital before being transferred to the Royal.
Her family added: "We ask everyone who knows
her to keep Lisa in their prayers as we continue to hope and
pray for her recovery." Ms McMurray had been working as manager
of the Cats Protection NI Adoption Centre in Dundonald. Head of
the charity Peter Hepburn said they were shocked and saddened to
hear the news.
"Lisa is a highly-valued member of our team
and we were saddened to hear of her illness," he added.
"We are in contact with Lisa's family and naturally our
thoughts are with them at this time. We are also working hard to
support her colleagues at the adoption centre."