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Miracle mum Nicole on the mend

SEVEN months after a horrifying car crash that left her in an eight-week coma, an Irish mum-of-three is recovering well.

Nicole Ryan Graham (27) has made a miraculously recovery and dumbfounded medics.

She was a passenger in a car in Kansas on February 8 that lost control and drove into a wall.

Nicole began to speak last month and her memory is slowly returning as she recalls her family and in particular her three young daughters.

She has begun to form sentences and is speaking to her mother, who has kept a constant bedside vigil since her daughter's accident.

Doctors are examining whether Nicole can eat without the aid of a tube for the first time since February.

"They (the doctors) have tried her with a liquid the same as honey and she had six spoons of it and swallowed it fine," Nicole's mother Caroline revealed.

"The next step is what they call video eating, they will feed her basically the same kind of stuff and watch to make sure it goes down the right tube to the stomach and not the lungs."

The mum-of-three, originally from Moyross in Limerick, has been recovering rapidly since she was transferred from the Meadowbrook Rehab Center in Gardner, Kansas, three months ago.

Employed as a court clerk in Kansas, Nicole is mother of Kendra, Katie and Kellsey, aged between two and 11 years.

Nicole has benefited from the 24-hour attention and the concentrated care she has received the state-of-the-art facility at Meadowbrook, and mum Caroline has been thrilled with her progress.

"Nicole is doing just great, she is doing a lot more 'whisper talking'," she said.

"We are hoping that she can get her voice-box and lips to work at the same time soon and then she will sound great.

"Her memory is doing pretty good, she remembers her family and knows their names and with her three little ones, she knows their names and their ages." Nicole's family in Limerick and her friends across the Atlantic have been involved in fundraising efforts to help pay for her substantial hospital bills after the near-fatal crash occurred five days after her medical insurance ran out.

The family has been appealing for help in paying for Nicole's medical expenses because she did not have health insurance and the family are footing the bill alone.