herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Irish family home within days following royal visit

Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia visit the Potot family
Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia visit the Potot family

The Irish-Filipino family injured in the Barcelona terror attack is expected to arrive home in Dublin within days.

It was hoped that the Potot family would be discharged from hospital today, but it is understood that husband Norman is awaiting the results of a CT scan.

Mr Potot (45), from Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, was on holiday in Barcelona with his wife Pearly (39) and their two children Nailah Pearl (9) and Nathaniel Paul (7) when the horror attack occurred on Thursday.

Mr Potot is still under observation after injuring his kidney, while Nathaniel broke his leg during the attack.

Pearly and Nailah suffered cuts and bruises but were otherwise unhurt.

Speaking to RTE yesterday, Ms Potot said Nathaniel, who suffered a broken femur, was "feeling better" and could move more freely in bed.

However, the seven-year-old is still unable to walk.

The Irish-Filipino family had travelled to Barcelona to celebrate Nathaniel's seventh birthday last week.

While they were in hospital recovering from their injuries, they met Spain's King Felipe and Queen Letizia, who were visiting many of those hurt in the attack.

Footage from the meeting shows the royal couple embracing the Potots.

King Felipe can also be heard asking Pearly how long the family has lived in Ireland and how old the children are.

A total of 13 people were killed and 120 injured when a van sped through Las Ramblas and ploughed into pedestrians.

The driver abandoned the van and fled after speeding along the section of the city, the most famous boulevard in Barcelona.

The attack left a trail of dead and injured among the crowds of tourists and local residents.

Speaking to the Herald from his hospital bed last week, Mr Potot described the incident.

"The van hit me in my ribcage," he said.

Screaming

"I never heard any screaming, I only saw the white van coming through us very fast, hitting the little shop and me.

"It was scary. I don't know what happened next because I was unconscious."

Mr Potot's young family was not hit by the vehicle but received injuries when people in the locality stampeded while trying to flee the scene.

"I could see policemen and people running and screaming," Mr Potot added. "Everyone was covered in blood, including me."

Almost two million Irish visitors are expected to visit Spain this year.

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