Bomaderry toddler Jake Price, who suffered head and spinal injuries in an accident near Shoalhaven Heads in April, continues to be treated at Sydney Children’s Hospital. We spoke to his mum Sarah to see how he was travelling.
It is going to be a long road to recovery for young crash victim Jake Price.
His mother, Sarah O'Meara, has been by his side since the accident four and a half months ago, sleeping next to his bed, hardly letting “her brave man” out of her sight.
Jake dislocated the lower part of his back in the accident, but has not severed his spinal cord. He has suffered bleeding around blood vessels in his brain and torn ligaments in his neck.
“There are lesions on his spinal cord that are causing the paraplegia in his legs,” she said.
“The doctors don’t know if he will make a full recovery. Apparently with lesions you can never be 100 per cent sure.
“He’s been into surgery seven times and we’re not sure if he will require more.
“He’s a real trooper – he gets frustrated, but keeps going.
“How can you explain it to a three–year-old that his legs won’t work?
“Jake hasn’t really spoken about it. He tells us when and where it hurts.
“We just continue to hope that when more of the swelling goes downs and the lesions possibly subside that he may be able to feel and move his legs.
“We just keep encouraging him to try and move his legs. At the moment we’re working on getting him to have more control of his trunk, so he can sit up without flopping to one side.
“And we are trying to wean him out of his back brace, which he has worn for four and a half months. We do physio every day.
“It’s frustrating for him but he’s definitely a little trooper.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world as a parent to see your child like this, if you could take it away you would.
“We just take each day as it comes.
“He had his whole life to look forward too, his whole life could be altered now.”
Ms O'Meara and her fiance Travis were set to embark on the next adventure in their lives. They had just bought a home together in Worrigee and were set to move in.
“We not long ago bought a house, I haven’t even been in it,” she said.
“Financially we’ve taken a massive burden. I’m now out of work. Each week is a struggle as we try to make the mortgage repayments.
“It’s been a long stressful process but we have been overwhelmed by the support we are receiving.
“It’s amazing how people we don’t even know are going above and beyond to help our little man.”
At this stage it will be well after Christmas before Jake may make it home.
Family and friends have organised a fund-raiser to help pay for Jake's ongoing medical expenses and for equipment he will need once he leaves hospital.
The fund-raiser is on August 29 at the Portofino function centre in Wollongong - tickets are available at the centre or by calling 0410 529 397.
Visit the Facebook group For Jake's Sake for more details.