A JURY in Wyoming has awarded a Co. Carlow man and his family $18 million after a tractor-trailer accident in 2006 left him with severe brain damage.Peter Brophy, 34, had been on business in Wyoming on July 25, 2006, when the 1993 BMW he had imported from England was struck by a tractor-trailer attempting to merge onto an interstate. Brophy's car spun into another oncoming tractor-trailer. Brophy was wearing a seat belt but was still thrown into the windshield. There were four other passengers in the car but they only sustained minor injuries.According to Brophy's 35-year-old Alaskan wife, Kate, her husband and father of her four children is lucky to be alive."There is no baseline for how far he can go, and he should have never survived this incident in the first place and the fact that he is drinking pints of Guinness is nothing short of a miracle," she said.The Brophys currently live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They met in Colorado and moved to Ireland in 2001. They returned to Colorado Springs in 2005 and Brophy continued to run his successful business as a consultant. "He would take really bad Irish bars and turn them around," said Kate proudly."He did it all over the world including Malaysia, here in the U.S. and England."Kate, spoke to the Irish Voice from her home on Monday."Sorry, she apologized, "I'm trying to cook the dinner."Kate, who works as a waitress full time, has the sole responsibility of looking after their four children. Her husband, who is confined to a wheelchair and although unaware of the day-to-day happenings, is still clued in. Kate more than anyone was elated when a jury in Wyoming awarded her $2.3 million for loss of her husbands future income and awarded Brophy $15.8 million. When asked what are her plans for the settlement money, she said, "Well, we are already over $1 million in debt at the moment and Peter's medical costs will continue to grow."She explained that although Brophy, who had a green card, paid his taxes he was not entitled to Medicaid to cover the costs of his hospital bills after the accident."We didn't get a penny from them," she said.The Nebraska-based trucking company, Werner Enterprises, and truck driver Cheryl Neal were found fully negligent by a Wyoming jury. Brophy was found 100% clear of negligence. The trial lasted more than a week.Kate, who chose to care for her husband at home rather than send him into a facility, remains optimistic about her husband's recovery."We never thought he would have come this far so we are delighted and look forward to his constant recovery," she said.Brophy was accepted into a rehabilitation program last year, and he was making great improvements before being stricken with meningitis in September.It is likely that Werner Enterprises will appeal the verdict. "This could go on for years," she said.Kate said if it wasn't for Brophy's wonderful family in Ireland and their neighbors and friends she would have found it extremely difficult to manage."His family have been a huge, major support for us. Peter is blessed with a really great family and they have been constantly back and forth since the accident," said Kate.
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