Monday 26 February 2018

'My wife thought that I was dead' - Irish father struck in Barcelona attack

Norman Potot (45) with his wife, Pearly Fernandez Potot (39) and his two children Nailah Pearl Potot (9) and Nathaniel Paul Potot (5).
Norman Potot (45) with his wife, Pearly Fernandez Potot (39) and his two children Nailah Pearl Potot (9) and Nathaniel Paul Potot (5).
Norman Potot with his wife, Pearly Fernandez Potot and his two children Nathaniel Paul Potot (5) and Nailah Pearl Potot (9).
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An Irish-Filipino father struck by a terrorist van in Barcelona last week said his wife believed he had been killed in the attack.

Norman Potot (45) from Ballsbridge Co Dublin was on holiday with his wife, Pederlita Fernandez Potot (39) and their two children Nailah Pearl Potot (9) and Nathaniel Paul Potot (5) when the tragedy occurred.

The family were celebrating Nathaniel's fifth birthday when a van mounted the pavement in Las Ramblas, killing 15 and injuring more than 100 people.

Speaking on the News at One on RTE Radio this afternoon Mr Potot described how the entire incident happened "really, really fast".

Spain's King Felipe speaks with the Potot family
Spain's King Felipe speaks with the Potot family

"I was looking for kitchen and suddenly there was commotion. I looked and I saw the van coming. The van hit me on my ribcage here, that's the last time I remembered. I pass out, I fell unconscious.

"My wife thought I was dying that I was dead. I was lying there with blood on my head. She tried to slap my face in order to wake me up."

Mr Potot said his  wife slapped him on the face a number of times and he woke up.

"When I wake up I ask her 'where am I?'"

He said policemen were on the scene moments later and the family were moved to a restaurant basement with a number of other injured people.

"One lady with us had a crack on her head, a bloody head."

Mr Potot also described the moment he realised his son had been injured in the stampede that followed the attack.

"When I gained my consciousness I saw him [Nathaniel crying] and I saw his leg bleeding, swollen and we went to the basement of the restaurant."

He said they waited there for 30 minutes before they were eventually brought to hospital.

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