Gladstone mum battles horrific head, face injuries
WHEN DENETA Cook watched as her daughter was airlifted out of Gladstone, she didn't know if she would see her again.
Kayley McAlister-Cook, 23, faces six weeks in hospital after receiving horrific injuries to her head and face - alleged to have been caused by an intruder armed with a didgeridoo - to her Glen Eden home.
She was flown in a critical condition to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital from Gladstone Hospital the day after.
Mum Deneta said: "When I got to the hospital she was bleeding, everywhere. I stayed with her until she was airlifted to the Brisbane hospital … I thought she wasn't going to make it."
Kayley was immediately placed in the intensive care unit and hooked up to a ventilator to breathe.
After surgery to relieve pressure off the brain and stop the bleeding, Kayley had six stitches and 41 staples to close a gaping wound on her scalp.
"The damage was extensive," Deneta said.
"She had fractures everywhere, her skull, the base of her skull, in her face and even her eye sockets. She couldn't open her eyes for a week. A pool of blood gathered behind one of Kayley's eye putting pressing against her optic nerve forcing the eye to lose most of its moving function."
- Six stitches and 41 staples
- Multiple skull fractures in her eye sockets, skull, base of her skull, and face
- She is seeing an eye specialist for broken bone around the eye and blood build-up behind the eye applying pressure to the optic nerve
- Surgeons stopped the pressure and bleeding by removing part of her skull
Despite the physical injuries, she said her daughter was staying positive and making good progress.
"She is very upbeat and can't wait to get out and see her friends and family and especially her daughter."
Deneta wanted to share these images of her daughter with The Observer.
"I have seen a few (Facebook) posts from people who find it amusing or funny that someone was hit with a didgeridoo," she said.
"Although she is making progress at an accelerated rate, she has extensive injuries which will need ongoing treatment for a very long time."
To help with ongoing medical expenses, a GO fund me fund raising page for Kayley has raised more than $1000 of a $20,000 goal.
Deneta said she couldn't be more grateful of all of the support Kayley has received from friends, family and the community.
"The support from the whole community has been absolutely outstanding."