Community rallies as crash leaves toddler in fight for life

NOT far from Finn Smith's bed lies another Sunshine Coast toddler who is fighting for her life in the Royal Brisbane Children's Hospital.

Jameela Cox-Bowden was critically injured in a car crash on the Bruce Hwy near the Bribie Island turn-off on Sunday.

She is sedated and in intensive care with blocks around her tiny head to keep her still while doctors try to determine the extent of her injuries.

A hospital spokesman said her condition remained critical three days after the crash.

Her mum and dad, Carolyn Cox and Jason Bowden, of Coolum, are recovering in the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Their injuries are not life-threatening, but they will take months to recover.

Jameela's six-month-old brother, Cayden, was also in the car when it veered off the road and hit a tree. He escaped unscathed and is being cared for by family members.

Ms Cox was fitted with a back brace yesterday and given the first chance to see her baby girl since the accident.

"I was flat on my back and couldn't see her before. It was so nice to smell her, to touch her,'' she said.

"The social worker who was watching the machines that read bits of her body said there was a spike when she heard me.

"It looked like she had tears in her eyes."

While little Jameela faces a long road to recovery ahead of her, Ms Cox is simply relieved she is alive.

"We are all alive, that's the main thing."

Mr Bowden has not been physically able to see his daughter yet and has had to make do with updates from Ms Cox and family and friends.

The Coolum community has already begun rallying around the family.

Kylie Herring from the Salvation Army, which leads the Mainly Music group which Jameela loved to attend, is organising visits and support.

Swim1 swimming school has also started a fundraiser and will be opening a bank account to help the family in their long journey ahead.

Ms Cox also wanted to thank the many people who came to the family's aid while they waited for an ambulance.


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