Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sophie's Courage

You may not have heard the story of this brave little girl. So let me tell you about the strength of the human spirit to overcome all adversities.

Sophie Delezio was born in 2001 and lived a pretty normal life, so what makes Sophie different from millions of other children? Here is her story.

December 15, 2003 began like many other mornings. Sophie was dropped off at her Childcare Centre thats when Sophie's life changed forever.

What began as a normal day turned into a day of horror when a car crashed through the Childcare Centre and landed on Sophie and her friend Molly. Both girls were trapped as the car erupted into flames. People came from everywhere to evacuate the children to safety but little Sophie and Molly were trapped beneath the burning car.

Little Sophie suffered 3rd degree burns to over 80% of her body. Sophie also lost both her feet, some fingers from her hands and her right ear. Here is a description of how the surgeons saved what they could on Sophie's body.

"Working with a bio-engineered skin product developed in the US, Integra - comprising porcine, shark and bovine collagen - and a patch of skin about the size of a man's palm taken from the only unburnt part of her body, the scientists and surgeons succeeded where most others worldwide have failed...Using a combination of three technologies, Dr Maitz said, surgeons treated Sophie's wounds - some so deep that they had exposed bone and deep muscle tissue - in operations over several months."

What is amazing is Sophie's spirit of survival. Through all the operations, skin grafts and learning to walk again, Sophie kept her beaming smile.

After spending months recovering and being able to keep her smile, as she inspired all those who came into contact with her that Sophie's life would be normal. Not so!

In May 2006 Sophie was hit by car when using a pedestrian crossing with her care giver and care dog. Once again Sophie suffered serious injuries as she was thrown 18 metres on impact with the car. Sophie suffered a broken jaw, broken shoulder bone, bruising to her head, broken ribs and her left lung was pierced, she lost a huge amount of blood.

What makes this story so amazing is Sophie's indomitable spirit, she did not point the finger at God, she didnt blame the drivers, she just kept on smiling. Sophie stole the heart of a nation and I hope her story will touch your hearts.

Here are the words of her mother, "She's just got that extra something special..The fact that she has to put on legs to take that first step does not faze her at all, and she'll do it with a smile on her face.We're very fortunate to have that personality in our daughter."

And her Doctor, "She just has this amazing inner spirit, to smile despite all adversities."

So the next time you think life can't get any worse? Think of Sophie and smile.

Post Script.

Sophie's friend Molly suffered burns to 40% of her body. This brave little girl underwent 18 operations, spent nearly 2 months in hospital. She is well on the road to recovery.

Sophie and Molly