Quick thinking actions of garda meant 'difference between life and death' for little Analise
The family of a toddler who was left fighting for her life after a tragic car accident has hailed the actions of a quick-thinking garda at the scene.
Analise McDonagh, now 19months, sustained a number of severe fractures to her head when she was struck down by a car which reversed on her grandfather's driveway last April.
"At the time we though she was dead, we weren't getting a lot of hope from the hospital for the first few days," her grandfather Michael McDonagh told independent.ie.
"She vomited on the way to the hospital - and that was the first indication that she was still alive. But I found out later that that was actually a sign of her organs shutting down."
The toddler was rushed by helicopter to University Hospital Galway but was later transferred to Dublin as the extent of her injuries became clear.
Analise's parents Edward and Bernadette kept vigil by their baby's bedside as she remained on life support for two weeks - and was only released from intensive care after three weeks.
Michael has said that the entire family are "eternally grateful" to garda Joe Quinn who recommended that the helicopter be called to bring the injured child to University Hospital Galway.
"The first few minutes after an accident like that is critical. Because of the request from that garda, we got to the hospital in Galway in eight minutes and they had a life support team waiting for us when we got there," he told independent.ie.
"It would have taken us at least 22 minutes to drive to the hospital. So that call was the difference between life and death for Analise."
Analise is now just getting to know her baby brother Michael, who was born six weeks after the devastating accident.
However, the toddler's grandfather said that Analise's recovery is "a slow process" and the doctors "don't know the long term just yet".
"We are waiting for her to get into the rehab centre in Dun Laoghaire and she has regular appointments in Temple Street Hospital," he said.
"The professionalism of the garda, the ambulance crew and the helicopter crew were all exceptional at the time - we can't thank them enough."
Garda Quinn said the real heroes are "the medical staff, the ambulance crew and the medical staff; in particular the staf in UHG and in Temple Street".
Without them, Analise wouldn't be where she is today," he said on Newstalk's Pat Kenny show this morning.
The Tuam officer- recalled the day when himself and his partner got the call and were first respondents at the tragic scene.
"You can't really train for something like that. When you come across something likethis in its raw state, you can't really describe it, you just do your best," he told presenter Pat Kenny.
"When I come across something like this, in particular kids, you don't have time to think - you just do everything and anything that's necessary. You never give up hope."