Coffs Coast Advocate/Chris Rix

Brooke to the rescue

BROOKE Astill may well be the youngest little heroine in Coffs Harbour.

The lively seven-year-old showed courage and maturity far beyond her years last week when her family was involved in a car accident in Toormina.

Brooke and her siblings Shakira, 5, Izacc, 3, and Holly, 1, were travelling with their mother Roxanne as she drove along Hulberts Road in Toormina last Saturday.

But the trip went horribly wrong when Roxanne suffered a suspected brain aneurism, and lost consciousness behind the wheel.

The car veered from the road, smashing into a tree.

After enduring the smash and with her mother unconscious at the wheel, Brooke - who was seated in the middle back seat - sprung into action.

First leaning over and turning on the vehicle's hazard lights, Brooke then helped Shakira and her younger siblings out of the car.

The two eldest girls then made their way to the side of the road where they flagged down a car for assistance.

"A car came when the hazard lights went on, and another one stopped when I got to the road," Brooke said.

The first car had alerted the ambulance and police, while ever-calm Brooke recited her grandmother's phone number to another Good Samaritan.

Brooke's grandmother, Terri Rose, was astounded.

"I was freaked out when I got the call of course," she said.

"I'm amazed at how smart kids are these days."

The Toormina Primary School student admitted she was frightened, but asked how she knew what to do, was quick to credit her teacher.

"We learnt it in school a week ago. I was frightened; I didn't think I could remember."

Medical examinations following the accident found that Roxanne had suffered the suspected brain aneurism as a result of a brain tumour.

She underwent surgery to remove the tumour yesterday, and is now recovering in the intensive care unit at Royal North Shore Hospital.

The children are now being cared for by Terri until Roxanne is well enough to come home.

"It's just amazing," Terri said.

"If she hadn't of had that accident, we would never have known she had the tumour."!

The family would like to thank the people who pulled over to help - especially 'Kerry', who phoned Terri after Brooke's instructions.

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