On October 21st, 1991 Linda was driving home when she heard on the radio of a car bomb explosion. A friend waved her down telling her that her husband had been in an accident. “When I got to the police station they told me that he had been in a bomb. They took me straight to the City Hospital. Alex was in theatre fighting for his life.”
Linda found out that her husband was a victim of mistaken identity. She decided to find a new home after being told her address might be on an IRA hit list.
When Alex returned home, the family began to readjust to life looking after him. It was not an easy time. Each member of the family was dealing with the trauma in different ways with detrimental effects on their two sons. “I just said we’re going to have to make the best of what we can, we’ll have to get on with it. My feeling was if they destroy the family, if the family breaks up, then the IRA will have won. I didn’t want that to happen.”
It was a difficult time financially. Linda gave up her job and during Alex’s prolonged stay in hospital was surviving on £33 a week. The compensation claim enabled them to buy their house but they worry that they have no pensions. “I do worry about that, I don’t know what I’m entitled to once it comes to the age of retiring or what I have in front of me.”
Linda and Alex found solace with the WAVE Trauma Centre. “I go every Thursday to it, you meet people in the same situation as you and if you want to talk you can… I just get on with life the best I can, if you can be positive, get on with things.”
This interview was supported by the WAVE Trauma Centre, University of Surrey and the Community Relations Council.