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Crash mum Nicole speaks for the first time in six months

A 27-year-old Irish mum has spoken her first words to her family six months after a horror crash left her in an eight-week coma.

Nicole Ryan Graham (27) has been recovering rapidly since she was transferred from the Meadowbrook Rehab Center in Gardner, Kansas.

The mother-of-three has been benefiting from 24-hour attention and intensive, concentrated treatment which is beginning to reap rewards.

After overcoming huge obstacles in her treatment Nicole has begun to speak and perform simple tasks unaided after spending 10 weeks in the state-of-the-art facility.



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"We have great news from Nicky. In a hoarse whisper yesterday Nicky has started to say her first few words," her mother Caroline revealed.

"She can say 'mum', 'hi', 'love you too', we are so proud of her, we laughed and cried, it was a great moment.

"Nicky knows her colours, she can read our names, and she is drawing circles and squares and just lots of other little stuff which, from where Nicky started, all of this is wonderful.

"A big thank you to Meadowbrook for everything they are doing. What a great team of people."

The mother of three young girls spent eight weeks in a coma since a horrific car crash in Kansas on February 8.

Employed as a court clerk in Kansas, Nicole is mother of Kendra, Katie and Kellsey, aged between two and 11 years.

Nicole's family in Limerick and her friends across the Atlantic have been involved in fundraising efforts to help pay for her substantial hospital bills.

She has been left with a bill of in excess of $1m (€795,000) but thankfully, she was recently issued with a green card and is having her treatment covered by Medicaid.

Nicole has been living in the US for the past 13 years. She was driving her car in Kansas when she lost control and drove into a wall. The condition of the road was said to have been extremely hazardous.

A huge fundraiser which took place at Greenhills Hotel in Limerick in March raised thousands of euro and Nicole's aunt Leslie Dillon thanked the continued support of the Limerick people.

"There was a fantastic crowd, Nicole has really got great support," she said.

Leslie paid tribute to the help Nicole has been receiving on this side of the Atlantic as friends and family fundraise to help pay mounting bills.

"The support from her friends has been really comforting," she added.

hnews@herald.ie