Family's vigil as tot Annalise is fighting for life after being knocked down in grandparents' driveway
THE family of a toddler left fighting for her life after she was knocked down in the driveway of her grandparents' home have told how they tried to revive her as they waited for help.
Annalise McDonagh, who is 16 months old, was hit by a car as the family gathered for an Easter Monday celebration in Kilbannon, near Tuam, Co Galway.
Her devastated parents, Edward and Bernadette, are maintaining a vigil at the bedside of their only child in Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin.
She is being kept sedated as doctors try to reduce the swelling in her brain.
Her grandfather, Michael McDonagh, who is also at little Annalise's bedside, told the Herald it had been a terrible freak accident.
"It was a genuine accident. Annalise had been playing on the bouncy castle with the other children and she had strayed around the back of the house," he said.
"Her uncle was driving off. He'd checked behind the car before he moved off but she just ran around at the worst time."
He said the family are comforting and supporting Annalise's parents.
"They're taking it bad. Edward was only a few minutes away when it happened and Bernadette was there. She's expecting another baby," Mr McDonagh added.
He said doctors had told the family that the next 48 hours would prove to be critical.
"She's stable now but they're keeping her sedated to stop her moving.
"They need to get the swelling down and the next 24 to 48 hours are the ones that matter," he said.
Mr McDonagh also praised the ambulance, helicopter and hospital staff.
"They couldn't have done more. They've all been wonderful," he said.
"They were at the house so quickly and since she's been in hospital they've done everything they can. We're very grateful.
"She was having a great time with the bouncy castle. She was up and down like a yo-yo.
"We just can't believe it has happened. It was a genuine accident and there was nothing he could have done."
Recalling the moments when Annalise was struck, at around 6pm on Monday, Mr McDonagh said she was immediately unconscious.
"We ran out and tried to revive her," he said.
"She was unconscious. We just kept talking to her to try and soothe her.
"Her uncle is badly shook, but we've kept telling him in was just a freak accident."
Annalise was taken by helicopter to University Hospital Galway and was later transferred to Dublin as the extent of her injuries became clear.