It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since the whole country held their breath when hearing of the tragic news that a car had ploughed into a daycare centre, with two-year-old Sophie Delezio trapped underneath the burning vehicle.
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She suffered horrific injuries, including burns to 85 per cent of her body, the loss of both feet, one hand and one ear.
Australia watched as she kept fighting but in 2006, another tragedy struck the family.
Sophie was hit by a car at a pedestrian crossing, and thrown 18m. This time she suffered a broken jaw and collarbone, nine broken ribs, punctured lungs, two fractured vertebrae and a brain injury.
Defying the odds, she continued her recovery. Young Sophie is now 15 years old and more beautiful than ever!
Her injuries aren’t getting in the way of her dream of becoming a Paralympian. She hopes to represent Australia in 2020 for rowing.
Sophie’s mum, Carolyn Martin, is constantly amazed at Sophie’s strong will and determination.
Speaking to The Morning Show, she said: “On one level it’s very normal in terms of living life. Sophie just gets on with it just like any other child, she just has more time and planning involved.”
“One of her great strengths is that she gives it a go. We facilitate that as parents to give her the best opportunities to achieve her dreams.”
Sophie has always been humbled at the support she’s been given over 13 years – by family and even strangers.
“I now only have one operation a year and go to hospital 15-20 times a year, sometimes even less. It is weird to look back when I used to go every second day,” she says.
Today, the Delezio family are continuing their work with their Day of Difference foundation. Created in 2004, it’s aimed at raising much-needed funds for equipment that will help reduce children’s injuries and the impact of children’s life-changing injuries on families in Australia.
This comes as Carolyn says more kids are killed by accidents than anything else (even medical issues), up to the age of 15.
Bravo Sophie, for being such a strong little go-getter and continuing to inspire us all.
VIDEO: Watch Sophie talk about her bright future