Grieving husband tells of brave and amazing Alexis McCarron's battle to recover from road crash
The husband of a devoted mother-of-five who died almost two years after she was involved in a car crash has spoken of her long and brave battle to recover from her injuries.
Alexis McCarron was left in intensive care for five weeks after her car crashed just 200 yards from her home in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone in November 2013.
The 35-year-old's heartbroken family spent the next year making daily trips to Belfast while she battled a brain injury that left her with limited speech.
Alexis, who was never far from her children's side, finally returned home in February.
Her husband Martin gave up his job to care for Alexis, but despite her bravery and her willingness to bounce back from several procedures, she died last Thursday.
Martin described how she loved being a mother to their five children - Michael (17), Alanna (15), Ryan (9), Tiarnan (6) and four-year-old Ethan and how her warm and caring nature touched the lives of those she met.
"It wasn't all bad over the last two years, we had good moments, she was able to smile and she knew exactly what was going on, the kids could tell her about their day and what they got up to and she took it all in," he explained.
"It was hard, but she felt more at ease and happier when she came home from hospital, she was brave the whole way through it.
"I will remember her eyes and her smile, seeing what she was going through and being so brave was amazing and her eyes were always bright.
"Her mum and her sisters devoted their lives to supporting her and they made sure that normality kept going in the house."
As the family adapted to life, Alexis continued to play a central role in their home as she listened to her children talk about their day at school.
While the outlook from doctors was rarely positive, Martin fought back at every stage and worked hard to keep his wife comfortable and happy.
"She was really big into the community and was chairperson of Aughnacloy Playgroup and was pivotal in securing funding for the premises, something she was proud of.
"She was a good person and the funeral was massive and everyone was amazing in helping out," he added. "The whole day was a blur to me but we have had some great memories over the last two years with her."
Martin's brother, Connor, said the family will now have to adapt to a new way of life without a devoted wife and mother.
He said: "They have been getting on with it and coming to terms with their new reality. It's a lot quieter now and there's a presence missing.
"Martin is devastated and for 23 months he put all his focus on to her and his family.
"He worked so hard to try and get her comfortable. His attention is now on the kids."
The family would like thank Aghaloo Football Club and the local community for their help over the last two years, particularly in helping Alexis return home from hospital.