Slade Shaw

Danielle Haggerty

My heart was broken never to be repaired…

Hi my name is Slade.

I am a mother of 3 wonderful children – my daughter Tyler 23, my sons Brodie 21 and Hudson 15.

You may know my children.  We are local on the peninsula and all my children attended Padua College.

I look around the room and I can see some familiar faces. This makes it even more real. Real in the fact that this can happen to you.  This could be a person at your school, even in your class. It could the person sitting next to you today.

I hope you can be patient with me as I try to deliver this heartbreaking tragedy to you. I ask you to think of your mother, father, brothers, sisters, family and friends…anyone you love in fact.  I want you to feel my pain not to be cruel but to teach you the importance of today.   If Tyler’s story can save just 1 life…

Wednesday the 4th September 2013 at approximately 11.45am.  I was resting on the couch as I was working a night shift that evening due to start at 4pm.   I had only spoken to Tyler earlier that morning.  She was going for a job interview that afternoon.  My mobile rang. It was Jack calling.. Tyler’s boyfriend.  I thought that’s odd he never calls me- I answered and I heard amongst crying  …….Slade…………….. Tyler has been hit by a car! We were going to play mini golf and a car hit her.

My heart sank. Is she ok? Where are you? The phone went dead I called back. I’m so sorry Slade, Jack was crying..

A car had hit the passenger side of the car Tyler was travelling in.  Tyler was sitting in the front passenger seat.  Whose car was she in?

The accident had happened in Boneo Rd, right outside the Boneo primary school. The drive from Mt Martha to Rosebud seemed to take forever.

My son Hudson and I arrived on the scene…… I thought I was going to vomit.  I saw the car with the “P” plates on it and saw the damage.  I thought how could anyone have survived this.

Whose car is this?  I don’t even know this person.    I saw Jack, he was with his mate.  He told me Tyler was with his mate’s girlfriend in her car and the boys were travelling behind.  He told me his mates girlfriend just turned in front of the other car.  Why? Why would she do that?  The car had been hit directly on the passenger’s side.  Tyler took the full impact. The car had been spun around. Then I saw the huge black Range rover.  Omg that was a mess too. Is this what had hit my baby?

A paramedic came over to me and asked if I was Tyler’s mother. She couldn’t tell me if Tyler was ok.  She asked me for Tyler’s medical history.  I didn’t want to talk about that I just wanted to see my daughter.  I needed to tell her that her mum was here by her side. I needed to see her.  Finally the paramedic let me see her for about 20 seconds.  I could see Tyler lying on the stretcher in the ambulance.  She was a skinny little thing.  But the vision I saw I will never ever forget.  There was blood.  Her clothes had been cut off. Her tummy was rising up like a pregnant belly then going down again and the gurgling sound I could hear I knew it wasn’t good. As I was quickly moved away I told Tyler I loved her, mummy is here and to stay strong and keep fighting.  I was told Tyler is going to be airlifted to The Alfred Hospital.  As I looked up I could see the chopper … My baby girl is up there all on her own.  I prayed and prayed for Tyler to stay strong. Hang on my precious girl I kept saying to myself, hoping she could hear me.

At the Alfred hospital, we ran from the car to the emergency department.   We were put in a private room. I stood staring out the window praying for Tyler’s life. Asking myself is this really happening?

2 doctors came in and told me to call in any family as they thought Tyler was not going to make it. They were surprised she had made it to the hospital. Omg!!! Are they really talking to me? My mouth was dry, I was shaking, I could barely dial the numbers but I had to call Tyler’s dad, Tim and my parents.

Tyler’s room was in the Intensive Care Unit of the Trauma Centre.  It felt like the longest walk of my life.  She was in the last room. We walked in………., I felt weak as I was going to colapse.  There was my baby. All Broken, tubes everywhere, beeping machines, hissing machines, the noise of the ventilator   breathing for her.  I couldn’t hold her because I couldn’t get to her.

Too many important things in the way keeping her alive.  I could touch her hand but that was lifeless.  Did she know we were here by her side?  Was she in pain?  Could she hear me telling her how much I love her.

Over the next few days, we learned of all Tyler’s injuries. She had:

severe brain damage from her head injuries and suffered a stroke at the time of the accident

ruptured spleen which was removed as soon as she arrived at the Alfred

Fractured neck, shattered femur and her pelvis broken in 3 places,

broken ribs, punctured lungs and damage to her kidney,.

Tyler also had a cut above her eye and lots of glass cuts throughout her body.  They shaved all Tyler’s hair off.  It was amazing how beautiful her face looked given all her injuries.  Her beautiful face only received a cut above her eye, it was the exact shape of her eyebrow.  We thought this will heal well and she won’t even have much of a scar.  Tyler would be so grateful of that.  My gosh Tyler could rock a bald head too, she resembled Sinead O’Connor. Just stunning. Such a beautiful young girl lying there with all these injuries, take away all the machines and tubes she just looked like she was asleep. Looked like she didn’t have a worry in the world, little did we know the fight she had ahead.

On the 9th of September Tyler turned 20.

Tyler was still in a coma.  We gave her balloons and presents and told her all about them hoping she could hear us.  We had cupcakes in the waiting room and friends and family gathered around her bed to sing her happy birthday.  We had a meeting that day with the doctors.  They gave us the news we didn’t want to hear. The worst birthday present ever. They said Tyler will never come home.  She will never walk, talk or feed herself again.  How dare you tell us that, I was thinking?  Hudson was so angry he was yelling and punched the wall.  We were all crying. We were lost for words. They don’t know Tyler, they don’t know how strong she is.  We are a strong family.. we can do this.  They have this all wrong.

The doctors said they were not giving up on Tyler but giving us the worst scenario.  Okay we get that. We remained hopeful.  We prayed for a miracle.

Some days Tyler would breath on her own…

other days she would need resuscitation.

Tyler continued to have surgery after surgery.  She developed pneumonia.

She had reactions to her blood transfusions.  She went through so much.

On Saturday the 28th September while the rest of Australia was excited about  the AFL Grand, we were being told that Tyler’s Life support will be switched off on Monday.  She will never wake up.  She has no brain activity.  They are only keeping her alive for us and this is inhumane. Someone please wake me from this nightmare….. Enough is enough.

Monday 30th of September came.  This would be the last day our daughter would live. She fought so hard for 26 days.  Her life support was switched off at 10.30am.  We sat by Tyler’s side holding her hands her feet any part we could hold onto.  We kissed her we talked to her.  Hudson read bedtime stories to her. We had the radio playing softly in the back ground as Tyler loved listening to music.  It’s ironic thou what songs were coming on that day.  One republic’s “something I need” played over and over again.  “If we only die once I want to die with you” This is exactly how I felt.

Everyone except Hudson and I went out for a coffee and toilet break. I couldn’t leave her side not even to go to the toilet.  I didn’t want her to pass away without me holding her. Whilst Hudson and I were in with Tyler alone, Hudson had a melt down and started to scream.  He went to the ventilator and tried to turn it back on.  Don’t let her die mum I don’t want Tyler to die.   How do I explain this to my son who was only 11 at the time, I don’t even understand this myself. This was hard enough without having to deal with this.  Everyone returned to the room.  It returned to being very quiet and peaceful.  The room was filled with love and tears.  There was nothing we could do.  This was out of our control.

At 4.30pm Tyler passed away.

I will never forget that moment

My heart was broken never to be repaired……

To YOU all today…

drive 4 life