A 25 year old mother of one who had been in an induced coma for several days after sustaining life-changing injuries in a crash in County Donegal has “opened her eyes”, her family have said.

Rachel Elliott, who lives outside Irvinestown, suffered injuries to her brain, back and pelvis after she was thrown out the back window of a blue Peugeot 306 when it hit a wall in the seaside resort of Bundoran killing two people.

Shiva Devine (20) from Belleek and Conall McAleer (20) from Ederney, who were passengers in the car, died at the scene. Two people, believed to be brothers from Fermanagh and were also travelling in the car, were seriously injured.

Miss Elliott’s family say they have been given no guarantees from doctors at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin that she will survive the crash after she was transferred on Sunday evening from Sligo University Hospital in a critical condition.

Doctors have told the family that Miss Elliott had been showing “strong signs of a brain stem injury because she was not responding.” Earlier today (Saturday) there was a breakthrough.

“Today we saw her open her blue eyes, this is a big thing,” said her sister Donna. “All we can do is keep praying that she makes a full recovery.

Earlier this week, Miss Elliott told The Impartial Reporter the impact that her sister’s injuries were having on her family.

“It’s heart-wrenching seeing her there and you can’t do anything. We just want her to pull through, we need her to pull through. She has to pull through for her wee boy Ronnie,” she said, fighting back tears.

“We are numb, it is a living nightmare. We don’t know if she will make it, it’s waiting game for us. We don’t have any answers,” she said.

The family, including parents Ivan and Susan, her brother Hugh-John and other sister Lorraine, must watch in agony as doctors work around the clock to ensure Miss Elliott receives all the treatment she requires. 

“Ronnie needs her, when you look at him you see her. He misses his mummy terribly, we all do,” said Miss Elliott, in an emotional tribute.