Family's plea to hit-and-run driver who left Belfast dad Eddie Devine for dead
The family of a west Belfast man left with serious head injuries after a hit-and-run has said he was left for dead by whoever was responsible.
Father-of-four Eddie Devine (34) had all four limbs broken, suffered an injured spine, broken ribs and blood clots to his brain.
Yesterday he was transferred from intensive care at the Royal Victoria Hospital to the Ulster Hospital's high dependency unit, where his condition was described as stable.
On Sunday at around 6am he was found injured close to the junction of Springfield Road and Crocus Street.
Police said his injuries were consistent with him having been knocked down.
Mr Devine's brother Gavin has called for anyone with information to come forward.
"On Monday his oxygen levels dropped and his blood pressure went up. He's conscious and can talk a bit but will black out and not remember anybody," he said.
He added that his brother has no memory of events.
"He was making his way home when it happened," Gavin went on.
By a stroke of luck, family friend Michael Rowntree was passing through the area on his way to work when he spotted the injured man, and called for help, staying with him until the ambulance and police arrived.
Gavin praised him as a hero, saying: "I'd like to thank Michael personally."
He added that he doubted his brother would have survived if he had been left lying helpless in the street any longer.
"He's really in a lot of pain, he has two broken legs with a hole right through one of them," he explained.
"He's also got a spinal and neck injury, three blood clots in his brain.
"The family are trying to pull together with the community to help. We're looking for anybody with dashcam footage or if anyone was going to work between 3am and 6am."
Mr Devine has four daughters aged between three and 13, with only the eldest Chantelle informed about his injuries at this stage.
"She's holding in there," said Gavin.
Addressing the hit-and-run driver, he pleaded: "Just come forward. We don't want any trouble - only justice for my brother.
"I know you may feel guilty now, but this is someone's son, brother, uncle and father to four daughters.
"He's a devoted single father who looks after his kids day in, day out. The girls are starting to realise their daddy isn't with them and they're starting to worry about him.
"He's a loving and caring person.
"Everything he does is for his kids and he helps the rest of the family. Everyone in the community knows him well and has been saying their prayers for him."
Gavin and the wider family have lit candles regularly for Eddie since Sunday, anxiously awaiting updates on his condition from hospital staff while keeping concerned friends informed of his progress on social media.
Yesterday, Gavin posted: "Praying so hard for you bro, love you to bits Eddie, my heart is broken into pieces. We know you are a fighter and can pull through this."
Anyone with information has been asked to contact police at Woodbourne using the non-emergency number 101.