By Conor Sharkey
TWO Letterkenny women badly injured in an accident were stunned to receive a phone call from Westlife star Nicky Byrne.
Siobhan Gibbons and Ciara McVeigh Lunn were on their way to see the band at Aviva Stadium on July 9 when they were involved in a three-car collision.
The pair were on the main A5 between Sion Mills and Newtownstewart when a silver car collided with the Ford Kuga they were traveling in. The silver car had been struck from behind by a third vehicle which pushed it directly into the path of Siobhan, who was driving, and Ciara in the passenger seat.
Siobhan, owner of Precious Moments on Upper Main Street in Letterkenny, suffered multiple fractures, including two broken ankles, a broken sternum, a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder.
Ciara, who runs LK Fitness and LK Hair Design, broke her left hand and suffered internal bleeding as well as severe bruising to her knees, back, wrists and hips.
After the accident, several friends attempted to contact Westlife to inform them of the near-tragedy. But it was Elaina Gallagher, who came across the wreckage while returning from seeing the band the night before, who had the clever idea to contact 2FM’s Jenny Greene. Nicky and Jenny previously presented a radio show together on 2FM. Much to Siobhan and Ciara’s amazement, Nicky Byrne picked up the phone and called them both.
“A lot of people tried to contact them but Elaina got in touch with Jenny Greene’s show. That’s after Nicky phoned us,” Ciara says.
“He was so lovely. He was on vacation in Portugal but he said he would arrange the tickets for us before the end of the year.
“It was like talking to one of your friends, he was so nice and he seemed devastated that it happened on the way to one of their concerts.
“We both needed a lift because we were going through such a range of emotions on good days and bad. And that definitely lifted our spirits.
In addition to the surprise phone call, the couple also managed to see the famous quartet. although virtually. Friend Chantelle from the Century Complex has reserved seats for them at a concert broadcast live from Wembley on Saturday night.
“Chantelle saved seats for us so we finally got to see them,” Ciara revealed.
A month after the collision, both women are on the slow road to recovery.
According to Ciara, their savior was the fact that they were in a Ford Kuga that elevated them above the oncoming car.
Siobhan, who was more seriously injured of the two, will require medical attention for the foreseeable future.
Ciara needs physiotherapy every day and was due for a CT scan and a visit to the fracture clinic this week.
The mother-of-three said she hoped to return to her living room and exercise classes.
“I haven’t fixed a date in my head but I hope it won’t be too long. With the hairstyle I will have to wait and see what I am capable of because of my hand.
“It’s the same with fitness classes. Physio is one thing, but increasing that a hundred times in a fitness class will be different.
“I’m determined to get there and being fit is definitely for me in my recovery.”
Ciara added that the support she has received from her friends and family has been immense.
“We’ve built a great community in Fitness LK and that’s what it is, a community. I have been a hairdresser for 27 years and some of my clients have been with me since day one. They are not clients, they are friends. The support of everyone, family and friends, with well wishes, gifts, kindness and positive thoughts, they all contributed to the recovery.