Wednesday 21 March 2018

Children struck by lightning released from hospital as dad fights for his life

Victim George Allen
Victim George Allen
George Allen is fighting for his life after being struck by lightning Photo: Photopress

Laura Abernethy

Two young children who were struck by lightning have been released from hospital as their dad continues to fight for his life.

George Allen (37), from the Ballymacash area, and his two children Geordie (5) and Georgha (7) were struck during the storm as they left Killowen Primary School in Lisburn after sports day finished last Tuesday.

Teachers from the school rushed to help and the vice principal treated the family using a defibrillator as they waited for the emergency services to arrive.

George was rushed to Lagan Valley hospital and later transferred to the Ulster Hospital where he remains in a critical condition.

Yesterday George's wife Sharon posted on Facebook: "Thank you everyone for your kind words and thoughts.

"Please keep praying for my husband. I'm over the moon with kids being home but there's still such a long road ahead for them."

At the weekend, she posted: "My husband is a fighter and I know no matter what I'm told he can pull through this.

Read More: Terrifying moment father and children were struck by lightning as he collected them from school

"I'm thankful they were able to get my five year old's heart started again by his daddy's side. The wee man is well on the mend now and eating sweets beside his beautiful sister Georgha. No words can tell you what I saw and felt that day. I'll relive that day for the rest of my life."

The community in Ballymacash has started a fundraising campaign to support the family while George is in hospital.

Local community worker Jonny Corry explained that he set up the page as George is "the main bread winner". He works as a registered waste carrier and makes his livelihood doing house clearances and dump runs.

He added that George and Sharon have six children, aged from five to 17, and the community wanted to make sure they can concentrate on helping George get better. "His family means everything to him and he would do anything for them", he said.

"He is an absolute gentleman and if you ever asked him for a favour or to do something for you he would always do his best to help you. He never passes you in the street or shop without speaking or when driving past flashing his lights and waving.

"George is a friend I can rely on if I needed anything, as do many others." The campaign has raised over £3,800 through an online fundraising page and local collections.

Jonny added: "We have started this funding because as George is fighting for his life in hospital he is unable to support the family himself.

"Bills still need paid, mobile phone bills to keep in touch with the family members with updates, car insurance, fuel, food to name some. We want to take any financial burden off the families shoulders as they have enough on their plate.

"George has a long journey ahead of him and the money donated will be given directly to the family to support them."

On Saturday, Sharon thanked the community for all the support they have given the family in recent days.

"I'm from Ballymacash like my Geordie and I always knew Ballymacash could pull together but never in a million years have I felt such support and love like that shown for my family. I read everyone's comments to him to show him just how much he's loved," she said.

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