herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Crash mum still in coma five weeks on

A 27-year-old Irish mother-of- three remains in a coma five weeks after a horrific car accident in the US.

Nicole Ryan Graham is still unconscious following the accident in Kansas on February 8.

Her mother, Caroline, is at her bedside and is updating her condition daily on Facebook.

Nicole's aunt, Leslie Dillon (34), from Limerick, told the Herald that the condition of the young mother has not changed dramatically since the crash.

"Basically, she's still the same and it's been five weeks now. She's doing little things like when she's stimulated she opens her eyes but she doesn't focus on anything," she said.

"Everyday you're waiting for news, she's still here, she's still fighting.

"I lost my mother in November and now this, it's a family's worst nightmare."

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

"The support from her friends has been really comforting. Her mother reads the messages posted on Facebook to her and when I call she puts the phone to her ear and sometimes she lifts her hand when she hears my voice," she added.

Praying

"All we can do is keep praying, she was brought up with us and she feels more like my little sister than my niece.

"She obviously made an impact on the people she met, given the level of support she has received, she's just a very warm, fun-loving girl."

Tanith O'Brien, a school pal of Nicole's from Limerick, has been spearheading the fundraising effort here and a large talent show was held at the Greenhills Hotel to raise funds.

"We have 10 or 11 acts who are going to dress up and lose their dignity on stage to raise some money and there will also be a big raffle," she said.

"It seems to be the biggest fundraiser so far. The level of generosity has been astounding especially given the fact that we are in a recession and the people of Limerick has suffered particularly badly in terms of job losses."

cbyrne@herald.ie

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