'We're all traumatised' - Photo shows Irish family moments before they were injured in Barcelona terror attack
- Irish family caught up in the Barcelona terror attack say they have been left 'traumatised'
- Dad Norman is receiving treatment for a punctured kidney after he was struck by the van
- Son Nathaniel (5) was caught up in the stampede and has undergone surgery for a broken leg
- Family were celebrating Nathaniel's birthday when tragedy struck
- 13 killed and over 100 injured in the attack
An Irish - Filipino family who were injured in the Barcelona terror attack said that they have been left traumatised after their family holiday turned into a nightmare.
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 on holiday to celebrate Nathaniel's fifth birthday when a van mounted the pavement in Las Ramblas, killing 13 and injuring more than 100 people.
- Read More: Driver of Barcelona attack van is one of five men shot dead, as police reveal terrorists planned bigger attacks
“We were on Las Ramblas Raval, the main road, while looking for presents,” Mr Potot told Independent.ie from his hospital bed in Barcelona.
“There were hundreds of people around when suddenly a white van came running through us.”
The father-of-two, who has been living in Ireland since 2007, was left with kidney injuries when the van struck him on the pavement.
“The van hit me in my rib cage, I never heard any screaming, I only saw the white van coming through us very fast, hitting the little shop and me.
“It was scary. I don’t know what happen next because I was unconscious.”
Mr Potot’s young family were not hit by the van, but they were injured after a stampede of people tried to flee the scene.
“The commotions of the people got them, especially my son, I think someone stood on his legs when he fell down.
“My wife and daughter were ok, they’ve got loads of bruises around their body.”
Mr Potot described the terrifying scenes when he regained consciousness.
“I could see policemen and people running and screaming, everyone was covered in blood, including me.”
Due to the threat of more attacks, he added that the family were not immediately able to receive medical treatment.
“The policemen told us to hide in the basement of the restaurant because there might be gunmen or something. They told us they would call an ambulance when the coast was clear.”
The shaken family are now recovering in hospital in Barcelona.
- Read More: Barcelona attack: Woman caught up in third terror event after surviving London Bridge and Paris rampages
“We’re ok, my son is in a recovery room, he just finished his operation due to a fractured leg.
“I’m under observation for 48 hours due to my kidney. They found a blood inside it, perhaps from the impact of van that hit me in the left side of my rib cage.
“My kids are traumatised all of us are traumatised,” he said.
The Potots are active members of the Lumad nga Bisaya Ireland community.
The group’s founder and president Ringo Olavario has spoken to Independent.ie about the family's ordeal.
He said: “The family were in Spain to celebrate Nathaniel’s fifth birthday.
“Nathaniel broke his leg in the attack and had an operation earlier today and it went well, thankfully.
“Norman is covered in bruises, he was hit full on by the van and will have to undergo a lot of tests but he seems okay.
“They are both in the Hospital del Mar.”
Mr Olavario said he has been speaking to Pederlita’s sister Aiza today, who he said is understandably “very upset.”
He said: “She’s been very worried since this happened, she asked her boyfriend to travel over to be with them and help in any way he can.
“I am also contacting anyone I know in Barcelona who might be able to help them until they can come home.
“Their little girl Pearl is really shocked but the bottom line is at least they’re alive.
“The trauma will be with them for years to come but thank God they’re going to be okay.
“Terrorists seem to be targeting every corner of the world now and it just shows you never know what’s around the corner.
“Who would think going on holiday that something like this could happen?”
He also said that he has known the Potots for a long time and will be relieved when they’re back in Ireland.
He said: “They’ve been living here for over ten years and are very involved in the Lumad community.
“Pederlita’s aunt is also a very good friend of mine.
“We’re all looking forward to welcoming them back to Ireland in the near future.”