AN Irish teenager who was badly injured in a freak car crash in New York which killed her older sister sent a poignant farewell letter to her beloved sibling's funeral Mass in which she wrote: "I am here trying to survive for you."
Kalie Gill, 15, from Fenagh, Co Leitrim, was killed over two weeks ago when she and her sister, Lindsey, 12, were run over by an out-of-control Jeep while they were attending a church carnival near their home in Yonkers.
Tragically, Lindsey – who will spend at least two more months in hospital recovering from multiple injuries – was not well enough to attend the funeral of her "best friend" last Monday.
And just hours before the well-attended funeral Mass, her parents Karen and Damien faced the agonising task of informing Lindsey – who had been in an induced coma – that her beloved sibling had not survived the tragic accident.
But Lindsey's love for her sister shone through at Kalie's funeral at St Barnabas High School chapel, when a heart-wrenching letter she had penned for Kalie was read out to mourners by the girls' older sister Jamie (21).
Lindsey wrote: "When I found out about your death, I tried to cry, but no tears came out.
"I just sat and looked at the ceiling and froze – thinking you were looking down and praying for me."
She added: "I love you and I always thought of you as my best friend, sister. . . I'm sorry I can't make it to your wake and funeral, but I am here trying to survive for you."
Speaking to the website IrishCentral, Sister Joan Faraone, the principal at St Barnabas school, where Kalie attended, said classmates had initiated fundraising efforts to help the Gill family pay for Lindsey's funeral costs.
The two girls were struck by a 4x4 driven by Roseanne Piccirilli, 55, a schoolteacher. No charges have been made and the police are still investigating the accident.