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Reference > Erinsborough News > Broken Body... Broken Lives!

Ramsay Street’s loving young family face tragedy as Drew Kirk battles for his life

Could the unthinkable be about to happen in Neighbours? Just as things are coming together for Ramsay Street’s happiest and most loving couple, disaster strikes.

In a development set to rock fans to the core, Drew Kirk’s life is in the balance after a horse-riding accident leaves him with horrific internal injuries.

Libby, his young wife and the mother of his baby son Ben, is shattered by the accident and its shocking aftermath.

Speaking exclusively to TV Week, Kym Valentine, who plays Libby, and Dan Paris, who has the role of Drew, reveal that viewers will be deeply moved by the upcoming episodes.

“This is the most traumatic thing Libby has ever gone through,” Kym says simply. And Kym, who married musician Fab Tolli last December, concedes that she found herself empathising with her character as never before.

“I can imagine how I would be if something happened to my husband,” she adds. “Oh dear! I don’t even want to think about it. I would be a wreck, so I’m able to relate to the situation – absolutely. My husband told me when we were filming this stuff that I would come home and not want to let go of him – and it was true. I got really clingy.”

The accident happens when they visit Drew’s home town of Oakey to discuss his father’s offer to buy them a house if they go into business with him. Initially Libby is opposed to the idea. She’s worried about leaving her mother, who has not recovered her memory.

“But she does start to warm to the idea when she sees how happy being in Oakey makes Drew.”

Eventually, Libby acknowledges she must allow Drew to realise his dream of working with horses. “They’ve lived in Erinsborough since they were first married and have been with Libby’s family the whole time. So it is right they spend time with Drew’s family. Libby agrees to give it a chance and Drew is ecstatic.”

Dan says it’s an equally difficult decision for Drew, but that Drew needs to “go back to where his blood family – and his heart and home – are.”

“It’s a fresh start for the family,” he adds. “Libby is going from being a journalist city chick to a cowgirl country chick. It’s sad, but you have to take risks and sacrifice things to have greater rewards.”

Having made their decision, the couple decide to go for a celebratory horse ride early the next morning. It’s then that tragedy strikes.

“The horse that Drew is on doesn’t really want to be ridden,” explains Kym. “He starts to jump around a little bit, but Drew assures Libby that everything’s ok and that he’s all right. Libby trusts Drew. After all, he’s grown up around horses, he’s won the rodeo. She feels there’s nothing to worry about. Then Drew says he will race Libby to the fence.”

It is then that the horse suddenly bucks and Drew falls to the ground. Galloping to his side, Libby is horrified when she realises that Drew can’t move. Barely conscious and is great pain, Drew tells his wife to go for help.

“Drew is left there gasping for air,” says Dan. Meanwhile, Libby is utterly distraught as she rides back to the farm to get assistance.

For both Kym and Dan – who filmed the accident scenes on a farm near Werribee in Victoria – it was one of the most gruelling shoots in their many years on Neighbours.

“The emotional content was extremely draining,” says Kym, “and we got very tired. But when you’re there, and it’s all happening around you, it just happens naturally. It’s all unfolding around you so you simply put yourself in the moment.”

And in that frightening moment, the paramedics arrive and prepare to rush Drew to hospital as he lapses into a coma. Will he survive?

This article originally appeared in TV Week magazine, dated September 2002, and was written by Jackie Brygel

Article submitted by Steve


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