Northern Ireland

North West 200: Spectator Violet McAfee hopeful of making good recovery

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Media captionViolet McAfee said the accident was "one of those freak things"

A woman who was hit by a motorbike while watching the North West 200 has said she is confident of making a good recovery.

Violet McAfee, 44, was in the garden of a friend's house when three bikes crashed during the opening race last week.

She was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) in Belfast by helicopter with serious head and leg injuries.

Two riders were also taken to hospital. A third rider was unhurt.

Ms McAfee was watching warm-up laps when the crash happened.

"It was just one of those freak things," she told BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday News programme.

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Image caption Violet McAfee was airlifted to hospital in Belfast

"I don't remember one thing about it.

"Even being shown the photographs of where the bike had landed and where another bike had landed out on the road, I don't remember one thing about it.

"I don't remember being picked up in the helicopter to come to the RVH or anything. There's nothing I remember which isn't a bad thing."

She was brought to hospital in a critical condition.

"I did not remember anything until the second day after the accident," Ms McAfee said.


"I didn't know what had actually happened to me at that point, how serious the leg was or that I had a hairline fracture on my head until my family told me.

Image caption Ms McAfee suffered a serious injury to her leg in the crash

"When I saw pictures of the scene I honestly couldn't believe it myself, I thought that can't have been me there because I just didn't remember a thing about it. It was awful to even feel that way. It was just such a freak thing to have happened."

Ms McAfee described her recovery as "remarkable".

"The power of prayer that I have had this week has been truly, truly unbelievable and the amount of friends and well wishers that I have had is unbelievable," she said.

"I do have to say I am extremely lucky and I have a brilliant terrific family behind me.

"You can think what could have happened or I can think, well this is what's going to happen now.

"I'm going to get my rehab done, I'm going to get up, I'm going to get walking and I'll be there next year again probably. I would say I probably will be with the rest of my family as well."

Image caption Ms McAfee said she had no recollection of the accident

She described the North West 200 as a "terrific" event.

"I won't stop going near it," she said.

"I think it's a brilliant thing that happens in the north west.

"There will be people who don't have the fun side of that and don't like it in any shape or form, but as for myself, what happens happens and it won't change how I feel about it."

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