Heartbreaking prediction for young boy
A young boy critically injured in the Oatlands tragedy is beginning to open his eyes three weeks after the drunk driving accident that killed four other children.
But there are fears Charbel Kassas, 11, will never walk again due to severe injuries he sustained after a car ploughed into him while he and his cousins were on their way to buy ice cream in Sydney's west on February 1.
Abdallah siblings Antony, 13, and Angelia, 12, and Sienna, 9, were killed along with their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11, by Samuel William Davidson, 29, who was allegedly three times over the legal limit when he drove into the seven children.
Charbel was so badly injured paramedics were forced to intubate him at the scene before transporting him to Westmead Children's Hospital under police escort. A neighbour and close friend of the family on Monday revealed that Charbel remains in a coma "with significant injuries to his spine and brain".
"He's had moments of opening and closing his eyes and his doctors say that he can hear bits and pieces. The full extent of his injuries are still unknown - so far we know his critical injuries include a broken spine and legs," Rimonda Abi Zeid wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to cover the family's medical costs.
"At this stage, it is unclear when he'll wake from his coma. There are multiple phases of a coma and he is currently in the beginning stages. Charbel has a long road ahead of him. His doctors and nurses are doing an incredible job looking after him around-the-clock - we're grateful for their support."
Ms Zeid set up the fundraiser on behalf of the family, saying Charbel's parents had only been in Australia for a short period of time and had no access to Medicare. "All medical expenses are out of pocket and will increase dramatically," she said.
"They need to be by their son's bedside and he will require full-time care. We are now seeking for the communities help and contribution. Any donation made towards this beautiful humble family is greatly appreciated."
She added, "The Kassas family have not asked for any financial assistance at this stage but being their neighbour and close friend, I am witnessing the effects this traumatic disaster is having on the family and can foresee what lies ahead."
By Wednesday morning a total of $156,000 had been raised out of a $200,000 goal. More than 1600 people have donated so far.
Hundreds of mourners turned out for the funeral of the Abdallah siblings last week at Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park, including their heartbroken sister Leanna, 10, and parents Leila and Danny.
Veronique was farewelled in a separate ceremony at her school's chapel in Strathfield the following day, where hundreds of her fellow Santa Sabina College classmates formed a guard of honour.