Irish doctor who was injured in hit and run while cycling says she is 'so lucky to be alive'
Published 10/07/2015 | 08:54
A doctor who suffered horrific injuries after she was knocked off her bicycle by a hit-and-run driver says she is lucky to be alive.
Oonagh Murphy and her sister Fiona were cycling along the Moy Road in Portadown, Co Armagh, on the evening of Saturday, June 27 when they were struck by a car.
The 28-year-old suffered a head injury and was left unconscious and bleeding on the road, while Fiona suffered cuts and bruising.
She watched as the driver of the dark-coloured car slowed down before taking off towards The Moy.
Fiona called their parents and an ambulance as the previously-deserted road quickly filled up with vehicles and other drivers stopped to help the injured sisters.
Oonagh woke up surrounded by paramedics and her family, but she had no memory of what had happened.
She said: "It was a huge shock. I thought I was just going out for a Saturday night spin. I don't remember being hit.
"Fiona didn't lose consciousness, so she saw what happened and was badly shaken up. She's been left traumatised by the whole thing."
A bone in Oonagh's face, which was left bruised, cut and swollen, shattered on impact. She also dislocated and fractured her shoulder.
She said: "The swelling in my face has gone down but I have nerve damage to my hand and my motor and sensory functions have been impaired. I have fractured teeth and have to go to the dentist to have one out this week."
Oonagh, who spent three nights in hospital, is now being cared for at home. "It could be months before I'm back at work," she said. "There's no way I can drive, lift things, type or make notes. It's my right hand that's injured, and it's my dominant hand.
"The impact is all on the right side. I don't know if that's from the car or the road. I'm in a lot of pain and I'm not sleeping well. I'm waking up in the middle of the night with the pain."
The sisters, who are members of their local triathlon club, had signed up to take part in races over the summer but will now have to withdraw.
"It's very upsetting," explained Oonagh. "My life has changed significantly. I'm lucky to be alive. It could have been different. I'm just glad I was cycling with another person.
"(The road) is one I was using three days before the accident. It's a road we would go on regularly. Most drivers are courteous - we were just unlucky to meet this person.
"Fiona remembers seeing a car coming in very close and hitting us. But she was so shaken up, she can't remember the driver or the make.
"If the driver had any conscience, he would come forward. I still hope he will be found and thought he might have been before now.
"Someone must know him - this is a small place."
Police are hunting the driver of the dark-coloured car.