Gauteng mom ‘more independent’ after horror crash – but still doesn’t know her baby died

2018-10-05 14:32
Shanei Norris and Reanei. (Photo: Facebook/Shanei Norris)

Shanei Norris and Reanei. (Photo: Facebook/Shanei Norris)

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It’s been more than six months since the one-year-old daughter of Shanei Norris, from Vereeniging in Gauteng, died in a car crash. But Shanei still doesn’t know her baby is dead.

The head-on collision happened on March 23 between Drie Riviere and Vereeniging while Shanei had been taking her daughter to daycare. Shanei was hospitalised with serious injuries and her little girl, Reanei, was declared dead at the scene.

On Wednesday Shanei’s sister, Tracey, told YOU the 23-year-old has been making remarkable progress since being admitted to a care centre in Parktown, Johannesburg, in June. Shanei’s condition has improved to the point where she’s been transferred to an independent wing in the centre.

“She’s still in a wheelchair but the past few weeks she’s made the best progress ever since the accident,” Tracey says. “She’s learning to walk and gets herself in and out of the wheelchair. We’re hopeful.”

Shanei had to undergo rehabilitation in an effort to straighten her right leg, which had been all but crushed in the accident. Because the leg had been splinted and held in one position for so long, the muscles had shortened, causing it to be at a constant 90° angle.

“Her right leg is straight for the first time in months. We’re grateful for the progress she’s making,” Tracey says.

As for her memory, Shanei has started mentioning she misses Reanei.

“She keeps saying she hopes Reanei remembers her – and that she can’t wait to see her child again. But she hasn’t asked to see her, nor has she asked where her daughter is.”

Doctors are hesitant to give a prognosis of Shanei’s amnesia.

“She’s starting to remember more and more things from before the accident,” Tracey says. “But anything you tell her now she’ll have forgotten within 10 minutes.

“It’s hard. And what makes it even harder is that we’re unable to foresee what her condition will be like a year from now.

“We don’t want to upset her by telling her Reanei is dead. It’ll be incredibly traumatic for her – and there’s also the possibility she’ll forget we told her. But the damage of the trauma will be lasting.”

She says Shanei’s memory has shown some progress. “She remembers everyday things such as where the cutlery drawer is, or where her room is – but that’s just because it’s such a routine. We’re staying hopeful for the future.”

During the week Shanei stays in daycare centre and over weekends she goes to either Tracey or their brother, Marc.

“She’s incredibly positive and willing to learn – which will all help her recovery.”               

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  accidents

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