Belfast Telegraph

Family's joy as donor pays for teen's air ambulance home

By Michael Sheils McNamee

The brother of a Northern Ireland teenager seriously injured in Spain has praised an anonymous benefactor who has paid to fly him home.

Jay Hamill suffered a broken leg, broken pelvis and a hairline neck fracture after being struck by a car in Salou.

The 16-year-old and his family arrived in the area on June 22 and that night Jay was involved in the accident.

His brother Ryan said: "It was crazy, it was the scariest experience of my life, I thought he was dead. You just don't expect to see something like that."

The 22-year-old recycling officer said he had spent the rest of the holiday by his brother's bedside, staying in the hospital for overnight stints of 14 hours at a time.

On Monday it emerged that a businessman had stepped in to pay the £19,637 for the air ambulance to fly Jay home.

Ryan said: "I couldn't believe it. I was in tears and my mum was in tears.

"I actually got a message from my brother just saying: 'Here bro, mummy just told me the best news ever'."

Jay had originally been scheduled to fly home tomorrow, but this has now been move forward to today.

The flight is expected to take off at around midday and be back in Belfast by mid-afternoon.

Ryan thanked SDLP councillor Paul McCusker who he said had been instrumental in creating the publicity that prompted the person to come forward, and in organising a hospital bed in the Royal Victoria Hospital for Jay.

"What he's done for us has been amazing," said Ryan.

Mr McCusker said: "There was a concerted effort from the local community to fundraise for Jay, raising over £8,000 before the benefactor stepped in.

"The community came together to support Jay Hamill's family, and it goes to show how important your local community is," the councillor added.

Belfast Telegraph

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