Cash bid to help bring home holiday fall Belfast gran Geraldine Martin
A fundraising drive to repatriate a critically ill Belfast woman after she fell from a balcony in Spain four weeks ago has been launched by her devastated family.
Geraldine Martin, a mother-of-three and grandmother-of-six, fell 45ft during the first night of a holiday in Murcia.
The 54-year-old suffered a catalogue of injuries including a broken pelvis, arm, ankles and ribs after the third floor plunge.
She is also being treated for an abscess in the abdomen and pneumonia. She is under heavy sedation and been placed in a medically-induced coma.
Doctors attempted to release Ms Martin from ventilation on Tuesday, but reintroduced the support as she was struggling. On her admission she was given a 10% chance of survival, which doctors now say has increased to 50%.
Relatives are pleading with the public to help them raise the £15,000 needed to transport her and a medical team to a hospital here via a ferry, as she is too ill to fly by air ambulance.
Sister-in-law Martine McCullough said the whole family was distraught, and Ms Martin's daughters Leanne (30) and Nicola (34) and son Gerard (36) have been keeping a vigil by her beside.
Different members of the family will be taking turns to fly out in the coming days and weeks.
"It's been an absolute nightmare for the whole family, but it's an absolute miracle that she has survived," Mrs MuCullough said.
"Nobody knows what happened, other than Geraldine fell from the balcony on her first day.
"One day we get good news, then the next day it can all change.
"Doctors brought her out of the coma and she seemed to be responding, she was trying to smile, then today we have been told she has a bleed and they don't know where it is coming from.
"The doctors have said that there is a nasty abscess in her abdomen, which they need to deal with first before they can even think about treating her different broken bones - she's just so frail at the minute. They tried to insert metal plates into her broken pelvis but it caused her to go into shock, and the fall punctured her lung, so her lung has now collapsed too."
Although Ms Martin did not have additional travel insurance, she did have her European Health Insurance Card, which means that her treatment is free within the European Union.
The fundraiser is to ensure there is enough money to bring Ms Martin home once doctors deem her fit enough, where family and friends can visit and care for her.
"We just all want her home so we can support and look after her," Mrs McCullough added.
The family now plans to host a fundraising and raffle evening in the Glenowen Inn, Glen Road, Belfast, on May 14. Tickets are available at venues throughout west Belfast and from Mrs McCullough.
You can help the family by visiting their JustGiving page