Singer Malachi Cush: I thought I was going to die after being hit by car
Co Tyrone singer Malachi Cush has spoken of the moment he thought he was going to die after being hit by a runaway car.
While in hospital, the Donaghmore performer also feared he might lose one of his legs following last month's freak incident.
On June 3, he was standing outside SA Trotter's family hardware store in Dungannon with the owner, Andrew Trotter, when a car careered down the street, mounted the pavement and crashed into them.
Mr Trotter suffered injuries to his head, shoulder and elbow, while Mr Cush sustained injuries to his lower legs and head.
Speaking on the BBC's Sunday Sequence programme, the Co Tyrone singer recalled the moment before the crash.
"We hadn't seen or heard any sign of anything coming our way. It was all very, very quick and sudden," he said.
"I thought there had been some sort of explosion because I could see all the debris on the ground. Then I tried to get up and obviously my legs were damaged so I couldn't get up."
Lying on the pavement surrounded by paramedics, Mr Cush said he thought he was going to die.
"I do remember vividly all the people working round me and my wife and my sister were there, but I couldn't really see them - they were just like silhouettes," he said.
"What I could see clearly was the blue sky and the clouds coming closer to me, or me going closer to them, and I did think 'I'm maybe going to die here'... I said I didn't want to die, it wasn't my time."
He was transported to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he was assessed as having injuries to his leg and head, including lacerations and had teeth knocked out, however initially doctors were worried he may have had internal injuries.
Thankfully, Mr Cush had no internal injuries, however his leg would require several surgeries.
The singer said his faith helped him pull through and he believes the power of prayer from others aided in his recovery.
"I was getting support from those at Clonard Monastery just beside the hospital and from across the board," he said.
"I am confident that prayer got me through a place at that time when I was struggling mentally. I'm sure the power of prayer had impact on my recovery and brought me back to myself.
"When I was in the hospital I said to my wife that I felt a change and I thought I was going to be okay, whereas I wouldn't have been able to say that lying on the street in Dungannon... I have no doubt in my mind that I somehow received a miracle that day."
Mr Cush, who rose to prominence on the BBC talent show Fame Academy, spent a total of three weeks in hospital.
He said his day-to-day life has changed dramatically since the accident, as he is unable to travel for work commitments in London and the United States, however when compared to what could have happened, he is reminded of "the important things in life".
"I think about what could have happened. I could have lost the leg, I could have had spinal injuries," he said.
"You have to be realistic, for some reason I was saved that day and there is still work for me. I will get back. I am now just really grateful and really thankful and I owe [God] one. I'm blessed and lucky to come through it.
"I think the overriding lesson for me is not to take anything for granted. In this business you're always consumed about where you're going, what's next and gaps in the diary and so on. I've had a gap for the last two months. It's given me a lot of time to be grateful, for my home, where I live, my family. Life goes on - with or without you."
Doctors have told Mr Cush it will be around December before he can return to the stage, however it will be 12 months before his leg is fully healed and functional.
Belfast Telegraph Digital