Belfast teenager in intensive care in US following scooter crash
EFFORTS were underway last night to raise funds to help a Belfast teenager who suffered a brain injury following a crash in the US.
Karmen Curley, a former pupil at Hazelwood Integrated College in north Belfast, had travelled to Southern Connecticut State University last month to visit her sister, Sian who is a student there.
The pair and some friends had planned a camper van trip along the west coast of California.
However tragedy struck after they hired electric scooter in Los Angeles.
Karmen's sister Sian described how her sister, who is due to start art college in the autumn, "hit a pothole" and was thrown over the front of the scooter.
She said hospital scans revealed that her sister had bleeding on the brain and she had also suffered a broken collar bone and face fractures.
The US university student said her sister has remained in the "intensive care unit of the hospital since Wednesday at a cost of $15,000 per day just for the room due to the seriousness of Karmen's injuries".
"We do not know how long she will have to remain here or when we will be able to fly home," she said.
"Unfortunately, Karmen didn't get travel insurance before flying out to meet me and there are already medical bills of over $80,000 dollars just for the past three-four days.
"We are still paying of the funeral costs of our Mum who died suddenly last year and with these mounting costs we do not know how we are going to cope".
The family have now set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the funds needed to pay Karmen's medical bills.
Sian said: "Please donate whatever amount you can too help with these medical costs, you don't know how much it is appreciated.
"Also please keep Karmen in your prayers hoping that she has a full recovery".
Posting on social media last night, Sian revealed her sister is "making improvements every day and we have been informed by the head doctor here that the bleeding in her brain has stopped and is starting to reduce.
"Thank you to everyone who has shared and donated to help with her medical costs, we really appreciate it.
So far last night, almost $3,000 had been raised towards the $150,000 target.
Donations to help Karmen Curley can be made at www.gofundme.com/help-with-medical-bills-abroad