A SICKENING crunch and the anguished screams of their baby daughter from under a wheel of their car are sounds that will never leave Stephen and Victoria Weeks.
Mr Weeks started up the family car in the driveway of their Highett home last Thursday, believing 21-month-old Alexandra was nearby with her mother.
But she wasn’t.
Instead, as the car moved forward, the front passenger tyre went over Alexandra.
“I can’t say enough how awful it is, and I’ll never ever forget the sound of that crunch, and the screaming,” Ms Weeks said
The Toyota Camry sedan went up and then down, but the Weeks did not know what part of their little girl was crushed by the tyre.
Mr Weeks jumped out of the car and dragged Alexandra from beneath it, relieved by her screams, which meant she was at least alive.
“The moment you realise that it has happened, it’s quite a hard thing to describe. It’s sickening … it’s a really horrible feeling,” Mr Weeks said.
Alexandra began to lose consciousness as an ambulance was moving her from Sandringham Hospital to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
At the RCH, scans showed her skull was fractured in two places, but remarkably there was no damage to her brain.
In intensive care the next day doctors discovered Alexandra’s carotid artery had been dangerously damaged in the accident.
The major artery, which supplies blood to her brain, was blocked, putting her at high risk of a stroke, Ms Weeks said.
Doctors had to give her the right amount of blood-thinners to reduce her risk of having a stroke, but not enough to trigger bleeding in her brain.
Her parents know how lucky she was, not only to survive the accident, but to escape without permanent brain damage.
“I can’t quite believe she’s with us. I feel like we won Tattslotto in a weird way on that day, that we’re not planning a funeral,” Ms Weeks said. “She’s a very sweet, loving little girl, but quite feisty … we call her the destroyer because she leaves this trail of destruction … and she’s got through it partly because she’s a tough little one.”
One child is run over in an Australian driveway every week.