Monday 23 October 2017

Mum Abbie (18) without halo frame for first time six months after horror crash that killed heroic dad

Abbie Hall Finn with her son Arthur. Her father Martin Finn died in a road traffic accident where Abbie was also injured.
Photo: Tony Gavin 30/7/2017
Abbie Hall Finn with her son Arthur. Her father Martin Finn died in a road traffic accident where Abbie was also injured. Photo: Tony Gavin 30/7/2017
Abbie Hall Finn whose father Martin Finn died in a road traffic accident in which Abbie was also injured. Photo: Tony Gavin 30/7/2017
Abbie Hall Finn with her son Arthur. Her father Martin Finn died in a road traffic accident where Abbie was also injured. Photo: Tony Gavin 30/7/2017
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

These are the inspiring images of brave Dublin mother Abbie Finn without her halo frame for the first time in the six months since the horrific road collision in which she broke her neck and lost her heroic father.

Abbie (18) was walking with her dad Martin (60) on the dark Newcastle to Lucan Road in west Dublin when they were hit by an SUV on the night of January 17.

Abbie has undergone two surgeries on her spine in an effort to give her use of her left arm - and she told the Herald that she welcomes plans to upgrade the tragic site to include footpaths and street lighting.

Martin was killed in the impact and Abbie was flung up in the air and across the road after her dad heroically pushed her aside before he was hit.

Abbie Finn recovering at her home in Ballyfermot in January with her son Arthur and partner Arthur after her father Martin was knocked down and killed while both were walking along the Newcastle Road in west Dublin.
Photo: Mark Condren
Abbie Finn recovering at her home in Ballyfermot in January with her son Arthur and partner Arthur after her father Martin was knocked down and killed while both were walking along the Newcastle Road in west Dublin. Photo: Mark Condren

Her neck was broken in the incident.

Abbie was fitted with a 10lb metal halo frame to stabilise her injury.

Brave Abbie was brought to her father Martin's funeral in Ballyfermot in a wheelchair and gave an emotionally charged eulogy to her dad.

She said his last act was to push her to one side just before they were hit, saving her life in the process.

She also sent a message of comfort from the altar of St Matthew's Church to the driver of the SUV, reassuring him that what happened was a tragic accident.

"We would like you to know we are praying for you and your family. We wish we could ease your pain," she said.

Martin Finn and daughter Abbie were walking on the Newcastle Road, west Dublin, when they were hit
Martin Finn and daughter Abbie were walking on the Newcastle Road, west Dublin, when they were hit

"We do not want my dad's legacy to be your suffering, as that is the last thing he would want."

Now, more than six months later, Abbie has had the halo frame removed and had two painful surgeries on her neck to try to regain movement in her left arm.

Read more: 'If road had been lit then my father might still be alive'

There is still no footpath or street lights on that stretch of road at present, but South Dublin County Council has told the Herald that a €20m upgrade on the Newcastle Road is being put out to tender at present and it is hoped that work may start this year on the project.

Abbie welcomed the news, but said that if the work had been done on the busy road in the past her dad might still be alive.

"At least if they do put the footpath and lights down it might prevent anything like that happening again. It's just a pity it wasn't done years ago," she told the Herald.

"There are more and more people using that road now because more houses have been built and there is a real need for it to be upgraded," said Abbie.

When Abbie was critically injured her baby boy Arthur was just three months old, and her mother Carol has had to take care of him while Abbie recovered from surgeries and was in the Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire for 14 weeks.

"I'd be lost without my mother. She has been brilliant. I couldn't hold Arthur because I couldn't lift my left arm, and I couldn't hug him with the halo on my head, so it's great to be able to be a real mother for him now," she said.

Although the heavy metal halo is gone, Abbie's vertebrae in her neck are reinforced with two metal plates and four screws.

"Physically I'm getting better, but mentally and emotionally we are not so good. I'm getting physiotherapy, but I might need counselling too to help me deal with the grief of losing dad," she added.

"We miss him so much. It's lonely and quiet without him in the house. And he was a brilliant grandad to Arthur."

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