US horror crash teen flies home to Northern Ireland as family face big medical bill
A Co Antrim teenager, who suffered horrific injuries after crashing an electric scooter while on holiday in America, is flying back home after making a miraculous recovery.
Karmen Curley, from Newtownabbey, travelled to the US last month to visit her sister Sian who was studying at Southern Connecticut State University.
The pair had planned a trip around the west coast of California for two weeks with Sian's university friends before returning home.
However, disaster struck just a few days into the trip when the group decided to rent electric scooters during a day out in Los Angeles.
Karmen hit a pothole while riding the scooter and was thrown over the front of the vehicle.
After being rushed to UCLA Hospital in Los Angeles, the 18-year-old was placed in intensive care, diagnosed with a bleed on the brain.
She also suffered a number of injuries including a broken collarbone, nose and eye orbital bone.
Sian said that as Karmen did not take out travel insurance before the trip, her treatment was costing more than $15,000 (£11,000) per day due to the seriousness of her injuries.
She has launched a fundraising campaign with a $150,000 (£117,000) target to help the family with the medical bills.
The sisters lost their mother Karen last July, while their brother Saul was tragically killed in a car accident four years previously.
Sian (22) said the family were still dealing with the costs associated with their mum's funeral and had no idea how they were going to pay the mounting medical bills, which soared to over $80,000 (£62,000) after just a few days.
By last Wednesday, Karmen had begun to show signs of recovery.
Sian said she is delighted that Karmen, who she's touchingly dubbed her "one-winged warrior", has made such fast progress that was given the go-ahead to fly home to continue her treatment.
Sian said she is "hugely grateful" to everyone who has offered them support in recent days. "Thank you to everyone who has kept Karmen in their prayers throughout this horrific time and those who have donated and shared the Go Fund Me page to help us pay off Karmen's medical bills," she said.
Donations for Karmen's medical bills can be made via: www.gofund me.com/help-with-medical-bills-abroad