NASHUA, N.H. (AP) – A late-summer vacation in St. John’s, Newfoundland, turned into a survival drill for members of a Nashua family.

After more than 20 hours of driving and a ferry trip, Greg and Maryann Kelly and their five children were almost to their destination when the family van ran off a rain-slicked highway, according to friends.

“They rolled over several times, landing in mud off the side of the road,” said Lori Zimmerman of Lowell, Mass., Maryann Kelly’s friend and former co-worker at Tewksbury (Mass.) State Hospital, where they worked together as nurses.

Rescuers had to cut into the van to get Maryann out, and the whole family was taken to a hospital.

Zimmerman said Maryann Kelly suffered a thoracic spinal cord injury, a broken arm and punctured lung.

“At first we feared she was paralyzed, but she does have the use of her arms and legs, thank God,” Zimmerman said.

The youngest child, 11-year-old Nancy, was virtually unscathed, but the boys – ranging in age up to 16 – had injuries from broken bones to an injured spleen, Zimmerman said.

Maryann Kelly got out of the hospital on Saturday and joined her family at a relative’s home to continue recuperating. But friends estimate she could be out of work for as long as eight months.

Zimmerman and nurse Joanne Dubay, another close friend and co-worker of Maryann Kelly’s, said Tewksbury hospital staffers are passing the hat to help the family, and friends also have set up an account for the family at Ocean National Bank in Nashua.

“It could be weeks before Maryann can travel (home),” Dubay said.

Greg Kelly suffered minor injuries in the crash.

, works as as chef at various area institutions, she said.



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