Lara takes first steps to recovery after freak accident
THEY say if you see someone every day recognising change is almost impossible, but the parents of Lara Whitaker do the task with ease.
From beside Lara's hospital bed, they have watched their two-year-old regain consciousness, talk and begin to walk after she was involved in a freak accident at Redcliffe Paceway.
Lara's rehabilitation journey started more than a month ago, and Lara's mum Joedy Whitaker said her little girl's strength impressed her every day.
"She just blows us away every day. She is just amazing," Mrs Whitaker said.
For the first fortnight Lara was in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Queensland Children's Hospital, unable to talk or move, but since then she has improved tenfold.
Lara took her first unassisted steps just a few days ago, and was able to squat down by herself.'
While getting Lara to eat again has been a slow process, she was still getting closer to normality.
"We have started to get her back into a routine of getting her changed out of her pyjamas in the morning and having a bath at night," Mrs Whitaker said.
The proud mum said she could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"We see the difference in her every day and we see her every day," she said.
Mrs Whitaker said the family were just starting to see glimpses of Lara's sassy, caring personality.
"We are back to having temper tantrums," Mrs Whitaker said.
"But she's back to wondering if everyone is okay. She is definitely getting back to herself."
Mrs Whitaker said Lara helped the nurses administer eye drops along with her general check ups.
At present, Lara is in the rehabilitation ward, which is the final step before she can return home.
Mrs Whitaker said Lara's jaw was the last injury to heal before she was released.
The family have not returned home for more than a month - the journey has taught Mrs Whitaker to appreciate everything in life.
"Don't take things for granted and don't be afraid to chat," she said.
Mrs Whitaker said she has also found comfort in talking to strangers she meets at the hospital.
"Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to a stranger you never know where you might find some strength," Mrs Whitaker said.
When it came to strength, Mrs Whitaker said the support the family received had helped tremendously.
Next month, the family will be supported once more by a charity day at the Rosewood Golf Club.
Organised by the Whitaker Family Appeal, the golf day will be a two person ambrose with a barbecue, raffle and top score prizes available.
Bookings are essential, registration is $25. Call the golf club to register on 5464 1201.