Tuesday 28 March 2017

Little Eva (3) 'lucky to be alive' after balcony fall

Eva Sweeney: still manages
a smile after her 20-foot fall
Eva Sweeney: still manages a smile after her 20-foot fall

Greg Harkin and Paddy Clancy

A THREE-year-old girl was rushed to hospital after tumbling almost 20 feet from a hotel balcony during wedding celebrations.

Eva Sweeney, a cousin of the bride, Ashley Gallagher, apparently fell on to a sloping tiled roof and tumbled to concrete paving. Shocked wedding guests dashed to the side of the first-floor balcony when they heard Eva scream as she fell.

It happened as guests had gone out to a balcony to listen to a band at the Ostan Hotel, Gweedore, Co Donegal.

When a senior staff member raced to the scene he found the little girl crying and being held by a female member of the band.

He carried her upstairs while emergency services were called. Eva spent five days in hospital recovering from bruising to her head and body, two black eyes and an injured shoulder. Her parents, Sarah and Joe, both 35, live in Glasgow, but were in Donegal with family and friends for the wedding celebrations.

Mr Sweeney said: "It was so frightening. Eva's an amazing wee girl. She's lucky to be alive."

The wedding was on last Saturday week and Eva was taken first to Letterkenny General Hospital and, the following day, to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin. Her uncle, Simon Murphy, flew from Glasgow to visit her.

He said: "The paramedics had to revive Eva at one point, so we feel really lucky that she's still alive. I saw her sitting up in the hospital with two black eyes but she was still smiling."

He said that it appeared Eva was playing chasing on the balcony with other children just before the fall.

He added: "She was lucky there was a sloping roof below because it broke her fall."

One of the hotel owners, Charles Boyle, who is also the chef, said it was the first time in 41 years that there had been an accident at the hotel.

"We have spoken to a member of the family and we understand the girl is now, thankfully, well and out of hospital," he said.

A spokesperson for the Health and Safety Authority said: "We are aware of the incident and we are conducting an investigation."

Irish Independent

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