Real Life

Evie was almost beaten to death by her mum, two years later her Dad says she's coming out of her shell

“I gasped when I saw her writhing on a hospital bed, surrounded by doctors.”

By Holly Royce

In 2016, Evie McMahon's short life almost came to an end at the hands of her mother.

Her mother, Lorien Norman, 26, who had a "history of being erratic", called Police threatening to throw her baby over a balcony.

Police responded quickly but where unable to find Lorien at home, they then tried knocking on the door of Evie's Dad, Shane McMahon.

Speaking to Take 5, Shane recalls the experience of seeing two police officers at his door on that terrible day.

"'We need to locate this woman urgently,' one said, producing a picture of my ex-partner."

"'We received a call from her and a very distressed baby was heard in the background,' the officer continued."

"My heart nearly stopped and they couldn't tell me anymore," Shane told Take 5. "I was convinced Evie must be dead."

Evie's face was covered in bruises
Evie's face was covered in bruises

What must have felt like a lifetime later, Shane was told by officials to go the emergency department and see his daughter, who has sustained life-threatening injuries inflicted by her mother, Lorien.

Warning: Shane's account below contains graphic descriptions of an abused baby's injuries.

Evie's Mum, Lorien Norman.
Evie's Mum, Lorien Norman.

Doctors told Shane that while Evie would recover physically, they could not be certain that her mental scars would ever heal.

Shane received automatic custody of his daughter. In 2017, Shane was livid when the South Australian district court gave Lorien a good behaviour bond and a $500 fine after pleading guilty to aggravated assault.

Following the public outcry after the court's decision, Shane started Facebook page 'Justice for Evie' where he continues to campaign tougher sentences for those found guilty of domestic violence.

Evie in 2018.
Evie in 2018.

How is 2-year-old Evie doing now?

It's been almost two years after the attack from her mother, and Shane told News.com.au that his daughter still flinches when people go near her face.

"Don't get me wrong, she's doing really well and she's come right out of her shell because at first she was very timid and scared of everything," he told the publication.

"She still does flinch a little bit, but she's just such a beautiful girl now. It's hard to explain, but if kids do get too close to her face or anything, her hands immediately go straight up to her face and she cowers a bit."

"If she isn't in her comfort zone, she definitely flinches more," he continued.

A big part of Evie's swift recovery is the influence of her older sister, Indi who is three-years-old.

"They're always running around, they help each other in the bath and if one of them is upset they'll hug each other," he said.

Shane also reveals that he planning on explaining the attack to his daughters when they're older in such a way that will not push them away from wanting a relationship with their mother.

Shane has made sure that Lorien's mother and father both still have contact with their granddaughters, despite the pair's strained relationship.

Evie is set to undergo psychological assessment next year so the true extent of the damage from the attack can be assessed.

Shane continues to update the, Evie's Journey — #justiceforevie, Facebook page and will continue to share updated on Evie and Indi as they grow.

If you feel like you need someone to talk to more about domestic violence, visit White Ribbon Australia's website for more information, or call 1800RESPECT now.