Mom who survived crash that killed her baby doesn't know her daughter is dead

2018-05-03 15:31
(Image: Shanei Norris via Facebook)

(Image: Shanei Norris via Facebook)

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Shanei Norris, 22, was seriously injured in a car accident in Gauteng that claimed the life of her one-year-old daughter, Reanei. But the young mother doesn't yet know about her child’s death.

Shanei has already undergone two operations and is still being treated in the hospital since the accident that happened on 23 March.

"It's very difficult," says Noelene van Blerk, a friend of the family. "It will absolutely crush her when she hears her child is dead. We can't just tell her at any time. We have to wait until the time is right."

Noelene says she'll tell Shanei the devastating news when she can remember more details about the accident. "We'll make sure there's a counsellor present when we break the news to her."

'She hasn't asked for Reanei yet'

"She's awake, but she doesn't remember what happened the previous day," says Noelene. "She hasn't asked for Reanei yet – that's why we haven't yet told her.

Shanei's life revolved around her daughter. The two were involved in a head-on collision between Drie Riviere and Vereeniging, while she was on her way to drop her daughter off at the day care.

"Reanei was in her car seat," says Noelene, "but the straps of the chair broke and she was flung out of the car. She died shortly afterwards".

The mom suffered serious injuries in the accident.

"We visit her and she recognises us most of the time," says Noelene. "She’s mentioned her child twice but each time she starts speaking about something else.

"She doesn't always know she's in the hospital and doesn't know where her injuries come from."

Noelene says this has persisted even though they told Shanei on Tuesday about the accident.

Shanei's social media is full of photos of her and her only child pulling silly faces and laughing in front the camera.

Noelene says they’re planning on having Shanei transferred to a private hospital this week.

"It's not that she's being treated badly at the state hospital – we're just not getting to speak to doctors about her diagnoses.

"We only spend an hour per day with her. We don't know if she has brain damage or temporary memory loss."

The family friend says they've already raised R60 000 on the Facebook page Mommy Shanei, which was set up to help cover her medical expenses.

Read more on:    gauteng  |  accidents

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