Young horse rider mouths first words since horrific accident
WHILE her journey to recovery is far from over, Abigail Sweeper is improving every day.
Abbie, who fell from her horse during an equestrian event at a Laidley and District Pony Club event, has spent almost a month in the Intensive care Unit at the Queensland Children's Hospital.
As community support continues to swell, Abbie's cognitive health has been improving - and her mother is over the moon.
Three weeks ago the ten-year-old was barely able to open her eyes but has since begun to communicate by blinking once for yes and twice for no as well as mouthing words to her mother, Amanda Visser.
"She is coming out of the sedation and is aware of what we're saying to her," Ms Visser said.
"She can mouth words and use her speaking valve to speak to us which is a real positive for her."
Ms Visser said she had been trying to decipher Abbie's words.
"She said 'mummy'," she said.
"We're trying to lip-read what she is saying to us so we have to ask her to slow down and say things slowly."
Despite Abbie's progress, it is still too early to know the full extent of her injuries.
"It's too early to know what the full implications of her spinal injury are," Ms Visser said.
"Even though the brain injury seems to be mild, she is still not breathing for herself and is still on ventilation and has no movement in her body."
Ms Visser said it could be between six and 12 months before the family would know what Abbie would be able to do for herself.
Donations to Abbie's GoFundMe account are still trickling in and barely a day goes by without a donation.
The page has so far gathered a total of $10,406, surpassing the original goal of $5000 by more than double.
Ms Visser said the community support the family had received was lovely.
"It's been so much community support from the horse world," she said.
"Even people who don't know us at all... The kindness is overwhelming and I just want to thank everyone for that."