This week we were contacted by NSW mum Angela, who wanted us to share her story with you to highlight the importance of rearward facing.
“I write this sitting next to my 2 year old (she is two today) in her hospital bed finally asleep after yet another rough day. And my almost one year old asleep in her pram at Westmead Children’s hospital.”
“On the 26th February my happy normal world shattered, and I woke up to my new nightmare life.”
“Travelling home from a dentist appointment in the middle of the day in Rural NSW, our SUV slammed into a tree head on at 100kms per hour. The impact caused our car to flip forward over its bonnet and onto its roof. At the same time the large tree snapped and landed on top of the car trapping us in it.”
“When I came to we were upside down in our car. Miss 1 and Miss 2 were screaming. We turned to see Miss 2 had quite a large laceration on her forehead. She was forward facing at the time of the crash. The aircon control vent above had flown off and hit her in the head. Miss 1 was rearward facing with no visible injuries.”
“Miss 2 and I were picked up by Careflight from the crash site and flown to Westmead, where our nightmare just got worse. They had discovered she had broken her C2 and C3 vertebra and tore all her ligaments in her C1. She was one of the youngest to be fitted with a Halo Brace the doctor told us that most children with her injury don’t normally make it.”
“Miss 1 and her dad went via ambulance to another hospital. Miss 1 had no injuries just a small bruise on her shoulder.”
“So as you can see two children in the same car crash restrained properly one with life threatening injuries and the other with none.”
“I was always unsure about when turning my babies around but after our crash and the hard evidence we are presented with I will forever rearward face my babies as long as I possibly can. Don’t make the same mistake as I did. It could cost you your babies life.”
“So far we have been treating her injury for 3 months with no idea of when she will be fully recovered.”
Thank you to Angela for sharing such a private, difficult time with us.
We wanted to address a couple of things here as well, though. While we 100% agree with Angela that rearward facing is the safest way for young children and babies to travel, we want to be absolutely clear that car crashes are extremely violent, chaotic, unpredictable things. It’s easy to draw the same conclusion that Angela has, that had Miss 2 been rearward facing, she may not have been injured – but we don’t know that. We can’t know that.
The kind of parental guilt that Angela and others who go through similar traumas find themselves in is an incredibly difficult thing to bear – but we want make sure that Angela, as well as everyone else reading along, knows that she isn’t to blame for this. The fact that her little ones were in correctly fitted child restraints, regardless of which direction they were installed, is the reason she still has her little girls.
Angela saved her little girls lives.
Angela isn’t to blame for this, no. Angela saved her little girls lives, and we’re in awe of the strength and courage it must take to put herself and her story out as she has – there are few who would.
The entire InfaSecure team wishes Angela and her family a speedy recovery and all the best in the future. Angela has let us know that Miss 2 is making good progress, has full movement of all her limbs, and will eventually make a full recovery.
Angela is also raising money to support the Careflight Chopper that carried her little girl to safety, and Westmead Children’s Hospital, where she’s currently staying. If you’d like to donate a couple of dollars to the cause, we’re sure it would be well appreciated.