THE family of a young mum who has awoken from a coma following a road smash that killed her partner has revealed she doesn’t know he is dead.
Tragic Christina Vibert, 26, is communicating with hand signals since being medically roused from the month-long coma she slipped into after the crash that claimed the life of Ross Graham.
The couple were travelling to Ikea to buy furniture for their new baby when their Honda CRX collided with a lorry at Clovenstone Roundabout in Wester Hailes.
Dad Ross, 22, died at the scene while mum-of-two Christina required facial reconstruction for her injuries and was unconscious from January 6.
A family member last night told how life after the tragedy had been “pure hell” but that doctors had revealed Christina may now be on the “long road to recovery”.
In a heartbreaking interview, the relative said: “She’s doesn’t know where she is or what’s happened – but when she finds out about Ross she’s going to be devastated.”
They revealed that Christina:
• Has barely spoken since the crash;
• Only opened her eyes for the first time earlier this month;
• Underwent facial surgery for severe wounds;
• Is gaining strength from her mother’s bedside vigil;
• Does not yet know her beloved partner is dead.
The relative spoke of the family’s relief and joy when Christina woke up, marking the end of weeks of torture and trauma after she fell into a coma.
But they said the breakthrough had brought new heartache for family members as Christina is only able to make noises and has been using hand movements to communicate.
“She’s not really talking,” they said. “She has been making noises but not really saying anything. I know she has been moving her hands.”
They also said Christina’s return to consciousness came after she was transferred to St John’s Hospital in Livingston for extensive facial surgery on her horrific head injuries.
It was revealed Christina had since been sent back to the Western General, where she was making a slow and grinding recovery that doctors said could take years.
The relative said Christina’s mother had been by her daughter’s side throughout her desperate battle with injury, praying for the day she is reunited with family members whose lives have been ripped apart.
Predicting the bedside vigil would boost Christina’s strength and her chances of recovery, they also said it was taking a huge toll.
“I can’t imagine what her mum is going through. If it was my child, I don’t know what I’d be thinking,” they said. “I’m going through hell myself but keeping myself active so I do not have to think about the situation. It’s in the back of your mind all the time but you don’t think about it if you keep yourself active.”
They revealed devastated family members were living in fear of the day when Christina would recover full awareness of her circumstances and find out that Ross is gone and baby Cali left without a father.
“She’s still unaware of where she is,” said the relative. “When she recovers and finds out what happened she will be absolutely devastated.
“Her mum is going to tell her when she is fully recovered.”
The Sunday shopping trip that destroyed the couple’s lives took place less than a fortnight after they celebrated their first Christmas with new-born daughter Cali.
Christina’s eldest daughter, Demi, six, is being cared for by Ross’s relatives while her mum recovers at the Western General.
“Ross would have made a good father to Cali,” the family member said. “He was young when she was born but he would have made a great dad and Christina is a great mother.
“She’s very devoted to her family, to her children Demi and Cali. She was so proud of Demi and always made sure she was doing things.”
Doctors said Christina – a keen dancer who studied hairdressing at Stevenson College and was from Sighthill – would have a “slow journey back to health”.
Roadside tributes at the crash scene, which grew every day after the accident, hailed Ross as a devoted father and friend.
One message read: “Can’t believe you’re gone mate – didn’t think this would ever happen. RIP.”
Another said: “Love you always. So sad to see you gone. Sunshines no more. RIP Ross.”
And a third said: “Ross – I can’t believe this has happened mate. Out of anyone in this world, defo shouldn’t have been you. Words can’t describe how much I’m going to miss you.”
A poignant message for Christina said simply: “I hope to God you pull through.”
On December 19, Ms Vibert posted a photo of her new daughter on Facebook with the message: “My baby Cali – just want to hold her forever xxx.”
Football match to raise funds
A FOOTBALL match is to be held in memory of Ross Graham and to raise money for his partner, Christina, and her two daughters, Cali and Demi.
Sighthill and Calder football clubs are to play each other at Saughton Park in May and organisers said they hoped as many supporters as possible would turn out.
A Facebook advert for the match said: “We will be holding a football match between Sighthill v Calder on May 25 at Saughton Park to raise money for Christina, Demi and Cali.
“We will also play this match in remembrance of Ross John Graham. We would like as many people as possible to come along and support us as well as donating what you can to help. There will be buckets at the entrance for people to donate as much as they can. Hope to confirm more in the coming months. Share the page and spread the word.”
News of the match came after the Evening News recently revealed statistics showing more than 360 road accidents on the Capital’s roads are reported to police every month.
The New Town had the highest volume of accidents with nearly six a week, while the city centre itself racked up 2256 over three years.
Kirkliston, which includes the M9, was the scene of 512 reported accidents over the three-year period, while 497 took place in Longstone.
Commenting on the figures, Neil Greig, director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “I think what these figures show is that we can’t be complacent when it comes to road safety.”