“SHE’S a fighter,” Fiona Smith says of her daughter Tilly who continues to keep her positive outlook despite progress not yet being what they had hoped for.
“Her attitude is ‘I broke my neck and my legs don’t work so what?’ you need to swallow concrete and toughen up.
“The staff at the hospital say they can’t believe how strong she is.”
Strength has been Tilly’s trademark since she dove into her family pool, breaking her C6 vertebrae and fracturing her C5 in March.
Doctors didn’t know how much, if any, function she would regain in her arms and legs.
Today, through sheer determination she can wiggle her fingers and move her right leg however, the battle is only just beginning.
Complex medical issues, bills, rehabilitation, transport and costs associated with modifying the family’s home for Tilly’s return are placing increasing pressure on the family, something two Griffith men have done their part to help out with.
On Monday a visibly moved and emotional Mrs Smith received two donations to help with these costs from businessmen Brian Calabria and Chase Staltare.
“It’s important to know that it is not over for the family, it hasn’t even started,” Mr Calabria said.
“There will be a lot of expenses in the coming months and years. Griffith is always good at helping people out and they are going to need a lot of financial support, the more of us that help it gives them the hope that people do care.
At 14 years of age this is going to be really tough for Tilly, through her teenage years she needs help to know that people care to help keep her strong.”
Moving forward Mrs Smith said her daughter would continue to fight hard and work towards recovery.
“We said that our goal would be to have her take two or three steps out of the hospital, but that is not going to happen – yet,” Mrs Smith said.
“We are positive, and have been building on her upper strength and transferring.
“Tilly won’t give up and I am so proud of the person she is.”
She has been in high spirits since her accident.
Mrs Smith told The Area News in April support from family and friends had helped Tilly.
“I think mentally that's helped her get to where she is,” she said at the time.
Tilly’s physiotherapy started just days after she was admitted to the hospital and she’s made some big strides, Mrs Smith said in April.
A bank account has been set up for those who would like to donate to help Tilly and her family, the details are: BSB -062548 and the account number is -10567463.