On the 10th of August 2018, Karlien`s father was busy moving their kitchen to a better location at home as he was working late most of the evenings, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for mom to keep an eye on both children. Karlien was 2 at the time, and their baby, only 7 months old.
Mom, Karin, took the children to visit their grandparents to give him time to cut most of the wood. By the time they came back the big grocery cupboard has not been fitted yet. Karlien and her father walked across to grandpa who live behind them to get the screws to fit the cupboard to the wall while mom was out shopping for their family holiday booked at Buffelspoort the next week.
As she had no kitchen to pack everything away, everything stayed in the bags. Karlien went thru the bags and found the easy-bake cookie mix and asked if they can make it – mommy explained that they won`t be able to at the moment, as daddy needs to finish up the cupboards first – and that`s when Karlien decided to put it in its place, which was the grocery cupboard.
She tried to open the doors and the whole cupboard come down on her. She wasn’t moving and blood come out of her ears and nose. They rushed to the hospital closest to home only a minutes’ drive away or so. The doctors and nurses ran in and out to get more equipment to stabilise Karlien. Once she was stabilised they transferred her to Union.
At Union they did a CT scan and found the injuries to be very serious. The trauma she sustained is the same as a big impact car crash at high speed. It was not necessary to operate at that point, but they had to monitor the swelling on her brain. The next 48 hours were the toughest the Roets-family have ever faced, until she started showing improvement.
She went off the ventilator, started moving and talking, and all was going well until the 20th of August – she walked for the first time since the accident, but later that day she had a fit. She was rushed for another CT scan and it showed her brain was submerged in blood. One of the veins burst in her brain. An emergency operation was done where they fitted an external drain to help relieve pressure on her brain, and she was back on the ventilator. After stabalising her, a couple of operations was performed as well.
Karlien was doing better to the point where she was sent to rehab. She was there for close to two weeks and the family got to see her on her 3rd birthday, 27 October. On the 29th she stopped breathing and they had to resuscitate her. She was rushed back to Union and they found the shunt was blocked due to an infection and did a replacement (the shunt was fitted in an operation to help relieve pressure build up from her brain). The CT scan thereafter showed that the shunt was working, but had a worse story to tell. Doctors told the family to prepare as Karlien might already be gone.
The next day during their visit Karlien moved her head and feet, and started to show little improvements. Doctors told them not to get their hopes up and that they should still be prepared for the worst. She grew a little bit stronger everyday to a point where she could go home, but is still on a ventilator.
The medical aid is supporting the family with a trauma benefit for Karlien, but this is only limited. Karlien’s 24 hour nursing (R18000 per month) came to an end at the end of March, and her monthly supplies like nappies etc. amounts to R6500 per month.
Karlien is currently being cared for at home. She is still on the ventilator and gets therapy during the week. She is not mobile, but she improves every day, and she also began to breathe more on her own. The doctor said the improvement was astonishing, and that she could get off the ventilator within the year. They will be going in to ICU again in 2 months time to see just how much Karlien can get off the vent.
Both parents work at a small family business which took a knock with them not being around for 5 months. Mom is still not back at work, supporting Karlien and trying to do what she can from home. Dad is back at work trying to provide for his family, but they need help. Please open you heart to give Karlien a chance at a better life, and a brighter future.
Update January 2020: Raising funds for Karlien to go in for ventilator weaning for home-care in February, and stem-cell treatment in March (R17000).
Follow Karlien Roets on Facebook for live updates on her progress and journey.
Fundraising for Karlien Roets
Hope and Love Bracelets for Karlien; consisting of smurf blue wooden beads with silver, crystal & diamante fillers – and a Heart or Butterfly charm. *limited edition*
Believe in Love Bracelets for Karlien; consisting of red wooden beads with crystals – and a Believe, Heart with Cross, or I-Love-You Heart charm.
Always Believe Bracelets for Karlien; consisting of lilac and dust pink wooden beads with crystals – and a Believe, Heart, or Cross charm.