herald

Friday 21 September 2018

'I have no leg, I have no dad' - crash girl's heartbreaking note to brother

Vanessa is recovering in hospital after the incident
Vanessa is recovering in hospital after the incident

A teenage girl who had her leg amputated following a horror crash that killed her father also tragically lost her mother just four years ago, her brother has revealed.

Despite suffering life-changing injuries in the road accident, which also left her boyfriend in intensive care, Gerry McMullan has said that his sister Vanessa McMahon is "doing amazing" and has even said that she would love to compete in the Paralympics one day.

Recovery

The collision between the van Vanessa was travelling in and a tractor happened on the R522 at Ballincurrig, Co Cork, on the Buttevant to Liscarroll Road, shortly after 1pm on Monday, June 4.

Patrick McMahon was killed in the incident. His daughter Vanessa (15) and her boyfriend, Thomas Crowley (17), were both critically injured.

Vanessa's brother Gerry (27) gave an update on his sister's condition and said she has had a remarkable recovery so far.

"Straight after the crash they said it was basically going to be either her leg or her life, so she ended up having it amputated," Gerry, who lives in south London, told the Herald.

"Her other leg was also badly damaged but luckily the doctors managed to save it, other than that she just had smaller injuries, cuts and bruises really.

"She's doing so well, she's still in Cork University Hospital but she managed to get out of intensive care pretty quickly, she was actually awake and trying to speak on the day of the crash, she was mouthing, 'I love you'.

"When she was able to write, she wrote, 'I have no leg' and then she said, 'I have no dad' - that broke my heart," Gerry said.

"She's doing good though, she had her first physio session yesterday and she will hopefully get to go outside in her wheelchair today, it's her first time out of her bed since it happened.

"She might get to visit her boyfriend, he was in intensive care with swelling on his brain but thankfully they brought that down. He also broke his eye socket and jaw.

"Thankfully now he's awake and fully compos mentis."

Gerry explained that his mother had him and his two brothers in the UK.

After she split from his father, Gerry's mother later met Patrick McMahon and they moved to Ireland.

The couple had Vanessa and her brother in Cork and the family lived there for several years before returning to the UK.

Angel

"Vanessa grew up in England, unfortunately we lost our mum in 2008, she had a heart attack," Gerry said.

"Patrick had to go back to Ireland to care for his own mother and we moved in with our nan, she's an absolute angel, she's in her 80s and she keeps us all together.

"Vanessa moved to Ireland last summer to live with Patrick and in a way I'm glad she had that time to get to know him and spend more time with him."

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