HEARTBROKEN young mum-to-be Kailah O’Keeffe is determined that the memory of her finance Liam Arndt will live on.
The high school sweethearts were on their way to Darlington Point to set themselves up for the birth of their first child when the car they were travelling in slammed into a tree near Grong Grong on July 25, killing Mr Arndt.
It’s going to be a long road to recovery for the 18-year-old, who is 14 weeks pregnant and confined to a wheelchair while the injuries she sustained in the crash mend.
Among other things, she has a compound fracture to her right leg, a fractured pelvis, broken ribs, and a broken nose and eye socket.
Yesterday, Kailah and her mum Lena Maag visited a Griffith doctor to make sure the baby is still strong.
“It has been hard. You ask why this would happen,” Ms O’Keeffe said.
“But it helps knowing that Liam will always be with me in my baby.
“I don’t know what I’m having yet, but when I go for my scan next month I’m going to find out. I’ve already got a girl’s name picked out. I used to call Liam ‘Li Li’. His favourite girl’s name was Charlotte. If I have a girl I’ll call her Lily Charlotte.”
Ms Maag said while it had been tough going since the accident, seeing her daughter get stronger and the baby grow every day was a blessing.
“I was travelling in the car behind them and I watched it happen,” she said.
“I just panicked. It was awful. I saw the car go off the road and then it was on fire. No one thought Kailah would make it. My therapy has been seeing her do what she is doing. She is trying to be positive and determined to be strong for bub.”
Donations of baby items have been made by members of the Darlington Point and Griffith communities but with the car not insured, she is now faced with a massive financial struggle.
“People’s generosity has been amazing. It is comforting to know that there are people who care,” Ms Maag said.
“She’s got lots of things for the bub now. It’s the bills that she needs help with.”
An appeal has been launched to help Ms O’Keeffe pay medical bills and get back on her feet in the wake of the tragedy.
To donate to the Kailah’s Courage Appeal
Account name: Lena Maag