The family of a teenager left fighting for life after falling from Cave Hill is praying for her recovery after she underwent surgery on severe head injuries.
Anne-Marie Curran (16), from the Upper Cavehill Road area of north Belfast, remains critically ill in the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital after falling 20 metres from Napoleon’s Nose while camping with friends.
The teenager was rescued in a major 90-minute rescue operation, involving the Fire and Rescue Service, paramedics, the PSNI and a helicopter called in from RAF Valley in Wales.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Anne-Marie’s brother Kevin said she had undergone surgery yesterday and was under sedation.
“At the moment she’s still critical and we are still praying for her,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.
“Her family would like to give a big thank you to the emergency services — I know they found it difficult to find her.
“We’d also like to thank her friends for staying with her and helping her.”
Kevin described his sister as a “fun-loving 16-year-old”. “She’s someone who loves life and music and her internet and everything else,” he said.
“She went through surgery yesterday and is still critical at the moment.”
Anne-Marie’s grandfather Felix Curran said her family were praying she would pull through. “She’s just a tomboy which explains her camping. We’re just praying that she’ll pull through,” he said.
Her friend Karl Gorman (18), who was with the group, said Anne-Marie had fallen after walking out of the tent.
“As soon as it happened, someone said, ‘Where’s Anne-Marie?’ and then everyone was up all looking for her,” he said. “We went out and she was at the bottom and we were all trying to get down to her. It was really scary.”
The darkness and location made it difficult for emergency services to find them, he said. “They couldn’t find us at first,” Karl said.
It was the second incident at Cave Hill in the past few days. On Monday, a nine-year-old boy was injured after falling while out walking with his father.
Park manager Fintan Grant warned visitors to avoid straying off the paths. “With the inclement weather, conditions underfoot would be treacherous if you come off the established path network,” the manager said.