SEVEN weeks after their lives were thrust into turmoil and changed forever the Whitaker family are embracing some “normality”.
Gary and Joedy Whitaker were enjoying some quality family time at the Redcliffe meeting on March 24 when they were struck by the mobile gate’s arm as they stood next to the fence to watch the next race on the card.
In what have been described as “horrific scenes”, the Whitakers’ two children were both rushed to hospital.
Two-year-old Lara suffered severe facial and internal injuries, with Josh receiving non-life threatening injuries, which included a fractured skull.
Gary who was holding Lara was struck first, which shielded the toddler slightly from the impact according to Joedy.
“Gary was the first one hit and that blocked some of the force from Lara,” Joedy explained. “If it hit Lara first she wouldn’t be with us.”
Josh was released from hospital reasonably quickly, however, Lara spent several weeks in critical condition while also undergoing surgery.
Thankfully that chapter is behind them, with Lara given her marching orders yesterday and is home where she belongs.
“Two very happy little children and two ecstatic parents,” Joedy posted on social media. “We are home!
“Still a long road ahead of us, but we are home and can start to work on some normality.”
Joedy also praised those who cared for Lara and Josh while at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
“A massive thank you to everyone at the hospital for making the past seven-and-a-bit weeks as comfortable as possible,” Joedy wrote.
“We went and said thank you and good bye to the team in PICU this morning and they were amazed at how well Lara was doing.
“A little emotional for me walking back through those doors, and definitely held back tears as we walked out of 8A, the Rehab ward.”