Mother Aquin suffered her first bout of illness in 1864 and really never fully recovered. When well enough, she taught in the school and periods of remission were filled with good and useful works.
Mother Aquin (Elizabeth Russell, we recall, founder of the House at Rostrevor) took charge of the debt payments on the Convent and School there and due to her heroic efforts this was paid off.
Perhaps hers was the hardest road of all. While her surviving sisters were at the hub of an ever-expanding apostolate and her brothers were gaining prominence in their respective chosen careers, she was trying to muster enough strength to make a few garments for the poor, walk a few steps or write a few lines of encouragement and consolation to the downhearted. Not for her the adrenaline flow of successfully completed negotiations for a noble project or the satisfying exhaustion of nursing the sick and feeding the hungry.
A racking cough tore at her lungs depriving her of sleep and depleting her energies. Hers was the slow road to eternity, a road she travelled with cheerfulness, calmness and resignation up to the time of her death in 1876.