Belfast Telegraph

Belfast 'hit-and-run' dad Eddie Devine faces eight months in hospital

By Allan Preston

A Belfast father seriously injured in a suspected hit and run is facing an eight-month recovery in hospital, his family said.

Eddie Devine was found lying unconscious around 200 metres from his home on the Springfield Road early on Sunday, March 11.

He had been at a family birthday party earlier that evening but was left with injuries including four broken limbs, an injured spine, broken ribs and blood clots to his brain.

His brother Gavin said his brother's legs are expected to heal, but his memory and speech were still proving difficult.

Last week he was transferred from the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Victoria to the high dependency unit at the Ulster Hospital.

The PSNI previously confirmed Mr Devine's injuries were consistent with being knocked down.

He still has no memory of what happened, other than he was making his way home at the time.

"He's still very confused with his words and can hardly speak," said Gavin.

"The doctors still aren't saying too much about his recovery but they do say his legs will heal and that he could be facing about eight months in hospital."

Mr Devine said the ordeal has been especially hard on his four young daughters.

"His daughters have been talking to him on the phone but we've decided not to bring them to see him just yet," he added.

"It's not easy for them worrying about him and then still having to go to school."

Gavin shared a picture on social media of a painted get well message from his six-year-old niece Kacielee.

The message reads: "To my daddy from Kacielee, love you with all my heart."

"This breaks my heart every time I look at this," said Gavin.

"She should be telling her daddy face to face, not through a piece of paper all because she can't get in to see her daddy."

He added: "There's no luck with witnesses yet, the police were sent some CCTV footage but we're not sure if anything will come of it."

That morning Mr Devine was discovered by a family friend, Michael Rowntree, and his partner who stayed with him at the roadside while the emergency services arrived.

Speaking afterwards Gavin said they were "heroes", adding: "If they did not find him at that time our family would not have known what to wake up to."

A police investigation into the incident is ongoing and anyone with information has been urged to contact Woodbourne police station using the non-emergency number 101.

Businesses with CCTV and drivers with a dashcam have been urged in particular to check for footage on the Springfield Road on March 11 between 3am and 6am.

The PSNI spokesman added: "Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

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