Popular TV presenter dies aged just 43 after asking fans to 'say prayer for me'
Aideen Kennedy, a former UTV presenter, has died at the age of 43 following a battle with a terminal illness.
She was a popular news presenter for UTV - the Northern Irish equivalent of ITV - and had posted photos of herself in hospital earlier in the week for an illness,the nature of which which was not disclosed.
Aideen on Tuesday had updated her 16,600 followers on Twitter of her lengthy spell in hospital. She shared photos of her receiving a blood transfusion, with the caption: "Day 19 in hospital - say a wee prayer for me. Bleeding in stomach."
On the same day she posted another image of a blood bag, praising people who donate.
Aideen wrote: "God bless those people who give blood, I am my on my 12th transfusion and I can’t believe someone would be so kind and selfless."
On Friday morning, she revealed that she would be "going home to die", with the assistance of palliative care.
The Twitter post, which has garnered more than 10,600 likes, said: "So life has not gone well and I am as sick as I was as when I went in to hospital so essentially going home to die but getting palliative care.
"The kids know. If you ever come across them, will you an eye out for them, they are the kindest, sweetest most thoughtful kiddies."
UTV colleague Rita Fitzgerald replied: "Darling Aideen, I’m so desperately sorry to hear this. My heart is breaking for you. I’m here if I can do anything at all. Much love xxx."
Close friend Emma Little-Pengally announced her death on Saturday evening on Twitter.
She tweeted: "Absolutely devastated. My beautiful, funny, kind friend Aideen has passed away. I will miss her terribly. We met 22 years ago when we shared a room for the summer in DC and became firm friends. Goodbye beautiful girl."
Former vice-chair of the Assembly Committee on Education Chris Lyttle, who became friends Aideen and Emma through the Washington Ireland Program at the start of their respective careers, also paid tribute on Twitter.
He wrote: "Rest in peace Aideen. I am so grateful for recent time spent together.
"May your family be comforted by the life and love you brought to this world. My heartfelt sympathy and support to them."
Little-Pengally penned another sweet message on Twitter, writing: "Our time here on earth is done. I grieve for that. No more pain, or illness for you now.
"No more sorrow or trauma. The most beautiful, kind soul that life gave me the privilege of knowing. Our walks and talks, craic and fun.
"I hope we will meet again. Goodbye my friend."
ITV has been contacted for comment.
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