NI doctor from Sudan safely flees country after 'terrifying' evacuation

A Sudanese doctor who lives in Enniskillen has told UTV about her nightmare journey fleeing gunfire and missiles in Sudan with her children.

Iman Abugarga was visiting her mum, dad, grandmother and extended family in the capital Khartoum when the violence erupted.

"All of a sudden finding yourself and 12 other people huddled underneath the staircase because the mortars are falling all around you...and just imagine that one is going to pierce the ceiling or the wall and come and just decimate your entire family.

"There are moments that you just cannot possibly imagine."

As each hour passed, Iman didn't know if she and her family would survive the next.

"The fear was... you could taste it in your mouth. It was just a really really harrowing experience... it's the kind of experience I pray no one has to experience in their lifetime."

Iman and her children live in Enniskillen, her eldest now at university in Edinburgh.

The mother worked at the South West Acute Hospital and was sent messages of hope from colleagues as she fled Sudan.

"An administrator sent me a message saying 'I lit a candle for you and your family'... it's just things like that that keep you going," said Iman.

Iman's son holds an Irish passport, which became their one-way ticket out of the country.

At the embassy, she feared she would have to say goodbye to her children but was allowed on the plane.

Now Iman is in the UK with her daughter who lives in Manchester, resting and recovering from a journey she says is already giving her nightmares.

Iman told UTV she's looking forward to getting on the ferry to Belfast and finally returning to her home in Enniskillen.

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