Clodagh Cogley was enjoying a friend's 21st birthday party at an apartment in Berkeley, California, when her life was changed forever.
The balcony, where many of the partygoers were gathered, suddenly broke away from the building and plummeted to the floor below, killing six 21-year-olds from Ireland, and a 22-year-old woman from California.
The tragic incident injured seven others, Cogley among them, leaving her with two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, five broken rips and a broken spinal cord - which may leave her unable to walk.
But, in an incredible display of strength, the 21-year-old has vowed to live "the happiest and most fulfilling life possible".
Writing on her Facebook account, she said: "Hey friends, just an update to let you guys know how I'm getting on (slowly catching up with the individual messages I promise!)
"The fall from the balcony left me with two collapsed lungs, a broken shoulder, a broken knee, five broken ribs and a broken spinal cord... Meaning the chances of me using my legs again are pretty bleak.
"Not the best odds but I'm moving to a great rehabilitation centre here in San Francisco for two months (it has dog therapy 🐶❤) and intend to give it everything I've got.
"Who knows maybe legs have been holding me back all these years and I'll realise my talent for wheelchair basketball.
"The thing I'm taking from this tragedy is that life is short and I intend to honour those who died by living the happiest and most fulfilling life possible."
"Enjoy a good dance and the feeling of grass beneath your feet like it's the last time because in this crazy world you never know when it might be."
Officials in California are currently investigating the balcony collapse, which took place on June 16. City inspectors recently announced the balcony was supported by wooden beams that had been badly rotted by water damage.