Local Woman loses an eye after serious car accident

On the 15th of February a 76 year old woman, Mary Connolly from county Antrim in Northern Ireland lost sight in one of her eyes after her and her family where in as fatal car accident. This happened at approximately 8pm on the Dual Carriageway coming into Ballymena. “We always went on a Friday to the swimming pool and this time we had a neighbours child with us and we set of as usual in the evening, it was dark and we set off on the main road to Ballymena”.

The family of five plus a girl aged 6 who was a friend of Mary’s daughter, Maggie was on their way when disaster struck. “When I saw the lorry across the road, the cab of the lorry was parked on the side of the road and the rest of the lorry was across it and I just hoped that we would go in underneath and out the other side but unfortunately it didn’t happen”.

When Mary who took into the hospital she found out that she had lost her left eye, “the children and my husband and me were taken to Coleraine Hospital and a surgeon was brought from Altnagelvin to look at me because I had facial injuries and I remember him, he must have looked at one eye but I wasn’t aware because I had no sight in it, but when he examined the other eye I remember saying oh thank god I can see”. However, Mary then found out that she had lost the other eye and obviously then she was blind in that side.

“I don’t remember feeling anything, I was probably in that much shock and probably just glad to have one eye and to be able to see”, Mary stated after she found out that she had only one eye. After the crash, Mary was in the Causeway hospital for a fortnight to recover.

After Mary got out of hospital she was nervous, “it was the look of the thing more than anything than affected me because you have sight and you do have a good bit of sight with one eye but it was the look, and when I got my first false eye it was brown and my eyes are green, I remember crying my eyes out after I got it”. It took a couple of months but Mary got her proper fale eye, “it matched the other eye very well but I was still very much aware of my looks and the scars as well”.

Mary didn’t just have to deal with the loss of an eye but she dealt with people looking at her funny, “I remember I was in a open planned shop with counters through it and clothes on the counters and I remember I was looking at clothes and I looked up and this lady had pulled somebody over and pointed at me to look at my face” in spite of this one occasion Mary states “people didn’t really say anything about the marks or my eye”.

In spite of everything that Mary and her family went through she has got some words of wisdom for anyone who is facing adversity or challenges, “don’t look too far into the future, just accept everyday as it comes and try and look on the bright side”, which is a great response to have.

Mary and family are currently doing very well.

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