'The kids are traumatised' - Irish-Filipino family return home after being caught in Barcelona attack
The Irish-Filipino family caught up in last week’s Barcelona terror attack have said that their young children are traumatised but everyone is relieved at returning safely to Ireland.
The family returned to Dublin last night, and Norman Fernandez Potot told RTE News how he turned to see the van bearing down on his family along Las Ramblas, and how he passed out after it hit him.
Mr 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.
Mr Potot suffered a fracture to his forehead after the force of the impact threw him head first to the ground, and also sustained bruising to his kidneys.
His wife said she thought he was dead.
"I saw my daughter first, and then my son, and then him. I went to him first as he is unconscious, and tried to wake him up," she said.
"I didn't even feel in my body, just (wanted) to be sure they are okay. I didn't even see other people."
"I was scared when I saw him lying with the bloody face... I thought he was dead"
Mr Potot said he remembered very little of the incident after being struck by the van.
"When I looked at my side, I saw the van coming very fast, ramming all the people... then it hit my side... and I passed out and that's the last thing I remember," he said.
"My wife told me she saw my face and blood gushing out of my forehead, and she tried to slap me to wake me up and that's the time when I woke up.
"I told her, 'My love, hopefully this is only a dream', and she replied, 'No, my love, it is real'. That's what I remember," he added.
Mr Potot said that the family was relieved to be back in Ireland, but that his children were traumatised despite not really understanding what happened, and his young daughter had seen some of the coverage.
"I am still coping but still traumatised... we are trying to cope with everything. We are glad that we are home. I feel that I am very safe here. It is really a horrible experience which no one would like to experience," he said.
"If they hear a small noise they will shout and cry, they are traumatised," he added of his children.
"When we were on the plane, she asked me, 'What is terrorist victim?'. Forget about it - there's no such thing."
He thanked people for all their support and asked for privacy at this time.