Teen who died from meningococcal after Canberra music festival saves lives through organ donation

The “energetic” teenager who died from meningococcal after attending a Canberra music festival has saved five lives, including that of a young child, through organ donation.

Ally Behan had recently turned 18 and was moving into a new, exciting stage of life after finishing her HSC at Ulladulla High School, attending her formal and applying for university.

But a few days after going to the Spilt Milk music festival last weekend, she fell ill with the deadly and highly-contagious disease meningococcal, and died a few days later.

Ally Behan died after contracting meningococcal at Spilt Milk music festival in Canberra.
Ally Behan died after contracting meningococcal at Spilt Milk music festival in Canberra. (Supplied)

Her loved ones have described her as a bright spark full of life and, who was “caring, and loyal with a strong love for animals”.

“Anyone who knew Ally will know that there are no words to describe the widespread devastation that is being felt with the loss of our beautiful girl,” Ally’s family said in a statement to Nine.com.au.

“Ally was young, energetic and loved her family and friends. She was beautiful, both inside and out, she loved to laugh and enjoyed some banter.

“She was very close to her mum, dad and her older brother. Family was important to Ally, who was just as close to her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins – who were always there for a cheeky 4am phone call.

People who attended the Spilt Milk festival in Canberra last weekend have been asked to monitor for symptoms of meningococcal.
People who attended the Spilt Milk festival in Canberra last weekend have been asked to monitor for symptoms of meningococcal. (Spilt Milk Festival)

The family, from the NSW South Coast, said the young woman had a “love for adventure” and was looking forward to her next one, which involved moving out of home and in with friends. 

Along with her love of family and friends, she’s been remembered for her kind nature. 

“She was always there for anyone, providing love and support when needed. Ally was caring, and loyal with a strong love for animals,” her family said.

Her last act has paid homage to a life of giving, helping those struggling with health problems of their own through organ donation.

“Ally liked to help people and did just that in her final hours by providing the amazing gift of donating her organs which have gone to save the lives of five different people, one of which is a young child,” the statement said.

ACT Health issued an alert for attendees of Spilt Milk days after the festival, upon discovering a person in Canberra Hospital with the virus had attended.

Anyone who attended the event should be aware of the symptoms, and seek urgent medical help if they appear.

Symptoms of meningococcal include:

  • Severe, unexplained limb pain
  • Difficulty waking up
  • High-pitched crying in babies
  • Severe headache
  • Upset by bright lights
  • Stiff neck
  • Red-purple rash which doesn’t disappear when pressed with a glass

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