A Victorian family knows it is hard to tell what the future will be like for a two-year-old girl who was kicked in the head by a horse, but they are holding on to hope.
On August 24, toddler Charlotte Footner was at a property in the Macedon Ranges when she was kicked in the head by the animal.
Her uncle Shannon Briggs said he understands the horse was spooked when a wheelbarrow fell over and Charlotte was caught in the crosshairs.
"Charlotte's kind of been collected when it's very unexpectedly kicked, so it's just a freak accident," he told Yahoo News Australia.
Following the accident, Charlotte was airlifted to Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital in a serious condition where she has remained.
She was put into an induced coma, which she has since come out of, though it's still going to be a long recovery for the little girl.
Her parents, Brett and Rachel, have been by her side in Melbourne since the incident, so they have been unable to work.
Family still unsure of little girl's future
Before the incident, Charlotte had everything going for her. Mr Briggs said she was a bright, happy child, with lots of energy, which makes the reality of the situation so much harder to accept.
"We just really don't know what the future looks like," he said.
"It is very much uncertain and well, with these things it's really just time and hoping that things improve slowly."
Mr Briggs said it is hard to tell what Charlotte remembers, given she is so young. Her speech hasn't returned to normal just yet, but the family is patiently waiting.
"It's a very long road to recovery, we're just getting little signs that she's remembering things," he said.
At first, she didn't remember anything or anyone, though she now recognises her parents.
She also isn't yet moving one side of her body, something which doctors told the family is common with injuries to one side of the head.
Hospital visits and therapy ahead of two-year-old
Right now, the best thing for Charlotte is for her to remain at the Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital. It's likely she will stay there for the next few months
While reasonably far from her family's Gisborne home, the care she has received there has been outstanding.
Mr Briggs said he felt helpless in wake of the incident. He figured raising money could help give the Footners time to be with their daughter without needing to worry about finances.
The family also needs to come up with the money for ambulance bills, ongoing treatment and rehabilitation for Charlotte, and special equipment and physiotherapy devices that will need to be fitted in the family home.
So far, more than $34,000 has been raised in a matter of three days. To support Charlotte and her family, you can donate to the GoFundMe here.
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