Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland man left critical after being hit by car in US 'making miracle recovery'

By Cate McCurry

A young man who was saved from the brink of death after being hit by a car in the United States is making a miraculous recovery in hospital, his family said.

Aaron Elliott suffered serious brain injuries and was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.

The 22-year-old was found unresponsive and without a pulse after being struck by car in Jenkintown, Philadelphia, last Saturday night.

Aaron, from Clonoe in Co Tyrone, suffered a blood clot, leak in the brain and a fractured skull and was placed under high sedation.

Hopes were fading after CT scans revealed internal bleeding was worsening, leaving him in an extremely critical condition.

Medical staff battled to save his life and within the last few days the young Gaelic footballer has made huge progress.

However, his long road to recovery could take up to a year.

His sister Laura and her boyfriend Ronan Fay flew out to be by his side.

"We were expecting the worst and thought he was dead," Ronan told the Belfast Telegraph.

"He was actually dead at the scene and was given CPR by a local policeman after he was found unresponsive without a pulse.

"He started to breathe but was still unconscious.

He was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital where he was rushed in for emergency surgery because he suffered a severe compound fracture, leaving his elbow shattered.

Aaron was then taken to the neuro critical care unit and because of his serious head injuries, he was placed under high sedation.

Aaron, who plays football for Kevin Barry's GFC in Philadelphia where he has been living since March, has undergone a number of surgeries including the insertion of a chest tube to help alleviate stress on his right lung, as the left lung had collapsed.

Despite concerns for his condition, he has been making remarkable progress.

Speaking from his hospital bedside, Ronan added: "He remains in ICU but doctors are hoping that in the next 24 hours if he continues to improve they can move him out.

"His breathing has improved and he's made good recovery from Sunday, but he has an extremely long road ahead of him.

"He's blessed that he's still here as he was gone at one stage.

"He is being well looked after by members from the Kevin Barry GAA club. They have been amazing.

"Club member Nicola McAlenen has kept a bedside vigil since his accident.

"But the medical bills will be sky-high."

A fundraising page has been set up to help pay for the rising medical costs and to help Aaron's rehabilitation when he's discharged from hospital

In less than 24 hours, they have raised $16,000 (£12,400) of their $100,000 (£77,000) target.

"People from across the world have been raising money," Ronan added.

"We are trying to stress to everyone back home just how ill he is as he won't be home this side of Christmas.

"The doctors are calling his recovery a miracle and said his age and health helped.

"They are extremely happy with his head and brain injury recovery but it could up to a year for him to back to his usual self.

"When we first arrived at the hospital Aaron gave us the thumbs-up and he's trying to have a conversation with his visitors.

"We are extremely grateful for everyone's help. His friends here have been amazing and stayed with him the whole time."

Aaron is expected to remain in hospital for six weeks and following his release he will require intense rehabilitation without health insurance.

Donations can be made to the Aaron Elliot Benefit Fund on the Go Fund Me website.

Belfast Telegraph

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