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Crofton girl, 3, suffers brain injury in fall at Ladysmith park

Sophia Taylor suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries in the fall at Transfer Beach Park, slipping through a rail on a fence above a water park.

A three-year-old Crofton girl remains in serious condition at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after falling six metres onto a concrete pad at a Ladysmith park on Saturday.

Sophia Taylor suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries in the fall at Transfer Beach Park, slipping through a rail on a fence above a water park. David Taylor, the child’s father, had taken Sophia and three other siblings there for a picnic. He had let go of her hand and turned his head only for a moment as he unloaded food and other items onto a park bench.

On Wednesday, there was a glimmer of hope as little Sophia awoke for the first time, recognized her parents, Selina and David, and briefly spoke to both of them while eating a little apple sauce.

“She sat up, said a few words and giggled a little,” Selina Taylor said in an interview on Wednesday night. “She said ‘daddy’ and ‘I love you.’ She touched my cheek and snuggled up and gave me a kiss. Then she said ‘all done’ and went to sleep.

“It’s a great relief,” she said. “It’s been very hard over the past few days.”

The toddler also suffered a separated shoulder and cuts and scrapes to her hands.

Selina Taylor said doctors have provided no detailed prognosis for Sophia’s brain condition at this point.

“It’s just hope for the best,” she said. “We still don’t know what her recovery will look like as of yet.”

Earlier this week, Sophia was unable to speak, open her eyes and barely recognized her parents' voices, Selina Taylor said. “Only time will tell the extent of the damage she has sustained, and what, if any, accommodations and limitations she may suffer long term.”

A GoFundMe page, which had raised nearly $19,000 by Wednesday evening, was set up to help the family cover the costs of the preschooler’s stay in hospital and likely long-term recovery from her injuries.

David Taylor is taking a leave of absence from his job to be with his daughter and wife in hospital, and to help care for the couple’s three other children — two boys and another girl.

“We do not know how long she will need to stay in the hospital, or what her recovery will be,” said Selina Taylor. “However, we want to be able to afford any changes to our home to accommodate limitations and ensure her safety, with my husband off work to help with the family, we are unsure of how we may be able to accomplish this.”

The Town of Ladysmith has since wrapped the pipe-fence in mesh fencing and is looking at alterations to prevent future incidents. The area where the toddler fell has a kayak rental building with a grass roof and park bench on top.

Selina Taylor, who stayed home and wasn’t at the picnic Saturday, said the fall happened in a split second. “[David] let go of her hand to set some things down. At that moment she headed for the rail, was going to climb it and slipped through,” she said. “Our kids saw the whole thing.”

In a statement on GoFundMe, Selina said: “I do not want anyone to feel pressured into donating any money for her. If you can’t, please pass along the message and keep our girl in your thoughts and prayers. We know the power of positive thinking, positive energy and prayer. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for any help in any form it may come.”

Right now, “it’s hour by hour and day by day. We have to take time and see what she needs and just go from there,” she said.

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