‘Brave’ Rhys home at last

Home at last ... Rhys Mullan and his mum Annette. Photo: Stephen McLean
Home at last ... Rhys Mullan and his mum Annette. Photo: Stephen McLean

The mum of a nine-year-old boy from Magilligan who was badly injured in a house fire has spoken of her joy at having her ‘brave’ little boy home.

Rhys Mullan spent the last five weeks in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast where he was treated for burns he sustained in the terrifying blaze at his father’s house on Seacoast Road on St. Stephen’s Day.

I just thank God he’s alive because it could so easily have turned the other way.

Annette Friel

The St. Aidan’s P.S. pupil had a number of skin grafts and is doing well and on Wednesday night, he was allowed home.

“When we were leaving the hospital Rhys said he didn’t want to see a hospital again,” his mum, Annette Friel told the ‘Journal.’

“He missed everyone so much, but he slept really well on his first night home, probably the first proper sleep he’s had.”

Rhys will still have to attend hospital three times a week to have his dressings changed but his mum is just glad her son is alive and back at home.

“He has a long way to go and we’ve been told he’ll have to go through different operations as her gets older. I just thank God he’s alive because it could so easily have turned the other way.”

Annette said her son ‘has been so brave he puts me to shame.’

“The doctors and nurses have all said how brave he’s been - even braver than adults - and he’s only nine,” declared Annette who addedthat the support from family, friends and strangers in the last few weeks has been “overwhelming.”

She paid heartfelt thanks to the local community in Magilligan and everyone who has supported the online fundraiser ‘Help Rhys Recover.’.

“I can’t thank everybody enough,” said Annette. “There are too many to thank. There are no words to describe how I feel. I’m just totally overwhelmed.”

Annette’s cousin, Stephen McLean and his wife Louise, set up the Facebook page ‘Help Rhys Recover.’

Some of the most recent items they’ve received to auction include a Liverpool top signed by this season’s players, and a Manchester United top signed by Harry Gregg.

The auction is this Sunday, February 5th in the Sperrin Club Coleraine. Viewing is from 2-4pm. The auction starts at 5pm.