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Horror injuries 'I thought he was dead' says sister of Galway hit and run victim

Gardaí say they have identified the driver and the vehicle involved "and this person is assisting with the investigation"


Venâncio ‘Costa’ Sousa

Venâncio ‘Costa’ Sousa

Venâncio ‘Costa’ Sousa

The devastated sister of the man who was left fighting for his life after being involved in a hit and run in Galway has revealed how she was told by doctors that it was a miracle he was still alive. 

Venâncio ‘Costa’ Sousa, who is originally from Madeira, Portugal, suffered multiple injuries in the incident near his home in Furbo at around 8pm on Sunday.

However, he was only discovered the following day lying injured in the garden of a nearby house at around 11am.

He was taken to University Hospital Galway where he is being treated for head and facial injuries, broken ribs, internal injuries and a broken pelvis.

Gardaí say they have identified the driver and the vehicle involved "and this person is assisting with the investigation".

His shocked sister Mariana has flown over from London, where she lives, to be with her brother.

Mariana, who has been maintaining a bedside vigil since being told about her brother, outlined how seriously he has been hurt.

“He's still the same, he is stable but there has not been much improvement,” she told the Sunday World.

“They have been doing a scan, on his brain, and I'm just waiting for the results. He has a big cut on his head and it’s quite swollen, so they are trying to find out if there is any damage inside but he’s not well, he’s very, very sick.

“He has so many injuries and more things are appearing as the days go by. The doctors are finding more injuries inside. Like, the ribs are broken, and the lungs are swollen, and he has a lot of air inside.

“They have to wait until they can operate but he’s still in an induced coma because he's not able to breathe on his own. He’s getting oxygen for his brain, but he can listen, he is conscious, he can hear me.

“When I speak to him, he can move the hands, move his eyes and yesterday he had moved one of his legs. But the rest of the body is broken, it is absolutely awful.”

Mariana said she had been told by one doctor that it is a miracle Costa is still alive.

“He was hit by a car at around 8 or 9pm and then he was left there all night,” Mariana explained. “There were marks in the garden where he was found so maybe he had tried to stand up. He was out in the cold all that night. And he wasn’t found until the next day, 15 hours later.

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"I was so shocked to find out he was still alive. Because when they called me, I thought he was dead but he was still breathing. "

Mariana lives in London although her family is from Portugal, from Madeira.

“And everyone, my dad, my sister, my brother are all there waiting for news," she added.

"Venâncio is a window fixer, and he has been living here in Ireland for seven years.

“Usually, he is in Dublin, but before lockdown he moved to Galway. He lives in a really nice place actually, in the middle of nowhere. The only place around to get groceries is the petrol station and he was just going out to buy some stuff for himself when it happened.”

Speaking about the incident, Mariana added: “I don't feel hate. I feel very revolted and very angry because you can't do this, even to an animal.

“They left my brother there to die and now he's all broken. And I don't know, even if he survives, what will happen in his life because the doctor said this is going to take long time to recover.”

Mariana has set up a GoFundMe page in which she described her brother as a “Portuguese guy, 49 years old” who had been working in Ireland for over seven years as a window fixer.

“‘Costa’, the name all his colleagues and friends call him, is a lovely, generous and happy person,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for her brother’s care.

“On the last Sunday, October 24th, around 9pm, in Galway City, Furbo area, my brother was violently hit by a car that left (him) in (a) place between life and death.

“The driver fled the scene leaving my brother badly injured.

“He was found the next day around 12pm, inside the garden of a house near the crash site. He is currently in intensive care (ICU) at Galway University Hospital (private hospital) in induced coma and with life support for breathing.”

She also described his injuries that included a “broken pelvis, broken ribs, (injuries to his) bladder and swollen kidneys.

“He's got a lot of bleeding inner injuries, multiple head wounds from the impact and a lot of abrasions all over the body,” she added.

“He's very sick in the hospital.

"In the coming days they will be very decisive for his life.

“Doctors can't give a prediction of what might happen. Have to be day by day.

"His condition is very serious and right now all his family and friends praying for his life.

“At this time any help is important to save Costa's life, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart all those who can generously help.”

The page has generated just over 1,000 euro of a 50,000 goal since it was set up.

Gardai added that investigations are ongoing.

They also appealed to any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and were travelling on the R336 between Furbo and Spiddal Sunday night, between 8pm and 9pm, to make it available to them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station on 091 514 720, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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