Maurice Reid said that Gordon and Linda McCloy were lucky to be alive, after the tragic accident which almost cost them their lives.
The pair have been inundated with calls, letters and messages from friends and family from as far away as America, since the accident on Sunday afternoon, November 24.
Linda had just been caring for her brother Dennis that afternoon, when she met her husband in Lisburn and as the pair crossed the four-lane road at Hill Street directly facing their home, and they were struck down by a Nissan Micra car coming from the direction of the Civic Centre.
Both sustained countless injuries and are expected to remain in the Royal Victoria Hospital until Christmas.
Linda is suffering from a fractured skull and eye socket, two broken ankles, broken leg, fractured pelvis and ribs.
Gordon, who is a carer for his elderly parents, has internal injuries including a ruptured spleen, suspected broken neck and a broken leg which is encased in a steel cage.
The couple have both worked at Greens FoodFare in Bow Street for a number of years. Linda works at the coffee shop.
“They are a very popular couple and well liked,” said Maurice. “They are just the loveliest people. The amount of interest both in their welfare and the accident has been phenomenal.”
The couple’s only son Mark,
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who works in Cardiff, was holidaying in America when the accident occurred.
Maurice was with his brother watching a football match when the police called at their home to tell them that his sister and brother in law were both involved in a road traffic accident.
Maurice said that the accident has traumatised the entire family.
“They have become mini celebrities with all the attention they have been getting but they are very lucky to be alive,” he said.
“Linda is a lovely person. As well as working at Greens she is a carer for her two brothers and Gordon looks after his parents who live at Manor Close.
“When I arrived with other family members at A&E Gordon and Linda were not in a good way. Linda was being violently sick. It was very traumatic. Thankfully they are doing quite well now and are expected to recover. They are in good spirits despite their injuries. Linda is doing well though the ruptured muscle is giving her problems with her sight and Gordons leg will take many months to heal.”
Just a few weeks ago, friends and family organised a 60th birthday for Linda at Lisburn Golf Club which Linda described as the ‘best night of her life.’
“That was such a happy occasion and then something so terrible happens,” said Maurice.
“The accident happened just outside her front door. I don’t know how that will affect her. She will have to see that spot where she was knocked down every day.”
As a result of the accident last week residents of Hill Street met with the police and Roads Service in the hope of initiating some road safety changes to prevent further accidents.
“The timing of the lights barely gives able bodied people time to cross let alone the elderly of those with disabilities,” said Maurice. “You cannot get across the road before the lights change. Gordon and Linda were three quarters way across the road when the accident happened. It was Sunday and they were going home for their dinner.
“Linda is a great person. She cares for both my brothers Dennis and Ronald. She is a person I idolise and I do not say that lightly. She is the best person in the whole world and I really mean that.
“She took over as carer for our entire family from the age of 12 when my mum took multiple sclerosis. When my mum died she became carer for my dad too and she also looked after two older brothers and nursed them before they died. She is now a carer for my two other brothers. She is a total saint. She is such a wonderful, wonderful person. She would give Mother Teresa a run for her money.
“Her first words on regaining consciousness were, ‘who will look after Ronald and Dennis tomorrow?’ She just helps people and does not realise or see the good that she does for others. Gordon is a fantastic son to his parents and helps them with daily care tasks every day of the week.
“The ripple effect caused to so many by their accident has been enormous. Linda and Gordon were also concerned about the welfare of the driver of the car involved in the accident and her passengers as they were aware that they also had suffered injuries.
“The couple are so popular and everyone knows them in Greens and throughout the Lisburn community. The support from so many people has been a humbling experience. Both Linda and Gordon are in good spirits now and I think they are just happy and thankful to be alive and so grateful for the support and prayers of so many.”