AN Irish mother remains in a coma in the US after she was involved in a serious accident in which the car she was travelling crashed into a wall.
Nicole Ryan-Graham (27) originally from Moyross in Limerick and Meelick, Co Clare, has been taken off a ventilator but remains in a coma after she was seriously injured in a road crash in Kansas.
The mother of three, who has been living in the US for the past 13 years, was a passenger in the car involved in the accident.
She suffered severe head injuries and has been in a coma since.
Her mother, Caroline Ryan O'Connell, is at her bedside. Her father, Brian Higgins, has returned to Limerick after flying to the US to be with Nicole.
Road conditions in Kansas were very poor at the time of the crash on February 8 and family members are praying for her to recover.
Nicole's aunt, Mary Stundon, from Corbally, Limerick, said: "The weather was very bad at the time and the car skidded and hit a wall.
"Nicole was a passenger in the car. Hopefully, she'll be okay, we are all praying for that. She will be in hospital for some time yet, and the treatment bills are going to be huge. She has been taken off the ventilator but remains in a coma."
Nicole is a single mum with three young girls, Kendra (11), Katie (5), and 20-month-old Kelsey.
"They know she is in hospital and asleep but are asking questions. They want to be with their mother," Mary said.
"Nicole's mum lives in Connecticut. Her dad, Brian, lives back here and had to come home for work. Nicole will have to go through a lot of rehabilitation."
Members of Nicole's extended family in Limerick have travelled to be at her at her bedside, and are looking to the generosity of the public to contribute to a fund to meet hospital and medical expenses.
Nicole is not a US citizen and will therefore have to fund her own treatment.
"Though she has been living in America for 13 years, she is not an American citizen and will be liable for all bills," Mary added.
"Neither does she have any insurance.
"Hospital charges in the States are huge. We have been told that she will be on life-support for the next two weeks, and we are all praying that she will recover."
A Facebook page has been set up to help with the fundraising effort and daily updates on Nicole's condition have been posted every day.
Nicole's sister Michelle thanked everyone who has been sending their thoughts and prayers across the Atlantic.
"When I heard the news about Nicole I was heartbroken," she wrote.
"But now thanks to all of your prayers and wishes she is slowly getting better and so is my heart."
An account has been opened at the Bank of Ireland, Castletroy for anyone who wishes to contribute, the sort is code 90-45-95. The account number is 44058749.