| 7.3°C Belfast

Family of tragic crash victim hail Air Ambulance fundraising

Close

Kyra McKinley died in August

Kyra McKinley died in August

Kyra McKinley died in August

The family of a Co Tyrone woman who lost her life in a road crash almost two months ago say they are overwhelmed to have reached their fundraising target for Northern Ireland's Air Ambulance.

Kyra McKinley from Omagh died following a two-vehicle road traffic collision on Deverney Road in the town shortly before 10am on Saturday, August 18.

The 21-year-old was seriously injured and flown by air ambulance from the scene to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she was placed on life support following emergency surgery.

She died as a result of her injuries in the hospital's intensive care unit three days later, surrounded by her family.

Following Kyra's untimely death, the McKinley family requested that people donate to the rescue team from Air Ambulance NI (AANI), who helped them cherish their final moments with her.

Her heartbroken older sister Alex (24) and younger brother Glenn (18) have continued fundraising on behalf of AANI and have already hit their £5,500 target to cover the daily cost of the vital service, which takes £2m a year to run.

From its two bases in Enniskillen and Lisburn, the air ambulance can reach any part of Northern Ireland in approximately 25 minutes.

Its primary role is to deliver advanced critical care, benefiting those whose lives are at serious risk following significant injury or trauma, by bringing urgent medical assistance directly to the patient at the scene.

Alex told the Belfast Telegraph her family have been humbled by the response.

"The community have been so incredibly generous and this is an absolutely amazing testament to just how fantastic people have been over this hard period," she said. "We could never have produced this amount of money ourselves without their support.

"Words cannot express how grateful we all are and we want to say an enormous thank you.

"Every time we walk down the street there is someone handing us money which is incredible. We are just trying to make the best of a terrible situation and believe that we are doing a great thing in Kyra's memory."

Alex says AANI gave her family precious extra time with Kyra and also allowed her organs to be donated for the benefit of others in need. The medics were able to resuscitate her and keep her alive so that her organs remained functioning and could be used to give the gift of life to others.

She added: "We found a bucket list in Kyra's bedroom and on it was to save a life, which she has done both through organ donation, and by this money raised to keep the air ambulance in the sky."

Despite reaching their fundraising target, Alex says the family will continue to fundraise in Kyra's memory and have no plans to stop.

They have also set up a Facebook page called 'WWKD - What Would Kyra Do?' with details of all their upcoming fundraising events.

This includes next weekend's Jamboree in the Park Oktoberfest 2018 in Fintona and a Kuppa for Kyra coffee morning in Omagh's Gillygooley Community Hall on November 3.

"The more money we can raise the more the air ambulance crew can give back to those who really need them," Alex added.

Belfast Telegraph