Belfast Telegraph

Christmas miracle for Zara’s family

by Natalie Irvine

The Newtownards mother of one who was left fighting for her life after she managed to escape an inferno in the Bristol Park block of flats were she was staying, has been discharged from from hospital yesterday (December 7) to the delight of her family and young son.

Zara Gibson, 21, who suffered horrific burns to her upper body, lung damage, and painful bone injuries to her spine and ankles after fleeing the fire from a first storey, woke up from her almost four week long coma last Thursday (December 2) — and though still in agony and unable to walk, her condition has “greatly improved, according to her family.

Speaking yesterday, December 7) Gareth Gibson, Zara’s brother who has been by her bedside every day said: “We are thrilled to be taking Zara home, she will be staying with me and my wife and two children.

“Her son, who moved in with us after Zara was taken into hospital, cannot wait to have his mummy home in time for Christmas — it was all he wanted.

“Zara is still is very weak and is suffering from a chest infection. She will not be able to walk for a while and there is some nerve damage to her left arm from the fire, but she is talking and is glad to be awake,” he said.

The six year old was not allowed to visit his mum during her first few weeks in hospital.

Gareth said: “It was a very emotional reunion when her son was allowed into the hospital for the first time last week.

“He must be as strong as his mummy to get through this ordeal. He kept asking me will she be home for Santa coming.

“Speaking on behalf of our entire family, we are so glad she is.

“I have been in the process this week of adapting our family home so Zara can recover easily there. It’s a busy time, but we really are delighted to be making these plans.”

He paid tribute tot the medics who have cared for Zara. “It was very touch and go when she was first admitted to the ICU in the Royal Victoria Hospital. We are very grateful to the hospital, and all the nurses and doctors and other hospital staff who have looked after her.”

On Monday, December 6, two teenagers were charged with arson endangering life on the Bristol Park apartment block. The 15-year-old and 18-year-old males also face charges of possession of articles with intention to cause criminal damage.

Both are expected to appear at Newtownards Magistrates Court on Thursday, December 23. The charges are subject to review by the Public Prosecution Service.

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