By Pierce O’Reilly
Relatives of Enda Reilly, the Longford man seriously injured on the evening of Dec. 15 in what appears to have been a hit-and-run accident on Queens Boulevard, say they are overjoyed with his progress the last few days. They confirmed this week that he is conscious and slowly recovering from what were thought to be life-threating injuries.
Colette McDonagh said Reilly was no longer on life support at Elmhurst Hospital and that for the first time has been able to communicate with his family.
"On Saturday last, Enda sat up in bed and pulled his own life support tube out," McDonagh said this week. "The doctors were amazed and shocked. They were about to put it back in when they noticed that he was breathing on his own. They decided to leave it out and he is just now beginning to recover ever so slowly."
Reilly was found lying on Queens Boulevard by a passing motorist. His body was battered against the curb with one of his legs on the footpath.
"It’s a remarkable tale to think he’s still alive after such a horrifying incident," McDonagh said.
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One of Reilly’s lungs had collapsed, his chest was separated, his bladder was ruptured, his intestines were torn, his femur, pelvis and collarbone were all broken. He spent more than 10 hours in surgery and his condition was monitored constantly for the next two weeks.
McDonagh said the family is outraged with what she calls a lack of support by police.
"It’s almost three weeks now since the incident occurred and we still don’t know what exactly happened," she said. " The police won’t say if it’s a hit and run, yet all his injuries are consistent with what one expects from being hit by a car."
Reilly’s wife, Debbie, has stayed by his bedside all the time. His first words when he opened his eye’s on Saturday were, ‘Where are my daughters, where is my mother and father?" the family said. He was disoriented and weak at first, but, they said, he improved on Sunday and Monday.
"He spoke to his two girls by phone when he got a little stronger," McDonagh said, referring to Reilly’s daughters, Amanda, 10, and 9-year-old Shannon. "They haven’t been allowed in to see him yet.
"He still can’t recall what happened. We asked him a few questions about what he could remember, but it upset him too much and we stopped. He said it’s just a blank to him."
The police said they had planned to stage a roadblock on Queens Boulevard at the same time of the accident the following Friday, but were apparently deterred by bad weather. They did hand out fliers in the neighborhood asking for information and help in their investigation. "We just hope that somebody out there knows what happened and will help out," McDonagh said.
A spokesperson for police investigating the incident at the 108th precinct said last week that they were still unsure if a car was involved in the incident.