EXCLUSIVE: Rollercoaster victim who suffered horrific injuries when she walked onto the tracks to retrieve a phone may need a lifetime of care as she remains in a medically induced coma weeks after the shocking accident
- Shylah Rodden, 26, was hit by a rollercoaster at the Melbourne show
- Ms Rodden was ‘horrifically’ injured in the crash and remains in intensive care
- She was involved in three other car accidents in 2018, 2019 and early last year
- Ms Rodden’s family have launched legal action over injuries she suffered in 2018
- They are also considering suing the Melbourne Show and the ride operators
- A GoFundMe page established on September 28 has increased to over $5000
A woman hit by a rollercoaster remains in a medically induced coma weeks after the shocking incident that may leave her in a lifetime of pain.
A fundraiser established to help Shylah Rodden has risen to more than $5,000 just hours after Daily Mail Australia revealed it was a paltry $500 up until Saturday.
Sources close to Shylah’s family have told Daily Mail Australia the $20,000 sought from the GoFundMe will go toward caring for the 26-year old, who has allegedly sustained massive brain damage in the accident.
The true extent of Shylah’s injuries remain unknown, with fears she may never be able to speak again.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman from the Royal Melbourne Hospital confirmed Shylah’s condition was now listed as serious rather than critical.
But her prospects at ever living a normal life again are slim to impossible.
A friend in close contact with Shylah and her family told Daily Mail Australia the money raised from the fundraiser would go toward helping Shylah’s long road to recovery.
‘People are under the impression that this money is just for her family. But people need to know this money is for Shylah’s recovery,’ the friend said.
‘This money will go towards her therapy, her rehabilitation, things they need to change around the house for showering and toilet needs.’
The reaction to Shylah’s accident from ‘keyboard warriors’ has shocked her family, who remain at a bedside vigil weeks after the incident.
‘People are now commenting saying horrible things and I just want to make sure the real and right reason for this fundraiser is out there,’ the friend said.
The fundraiser, established by Shylah’s friend Sylvia Dess, was set up days after the accident, but had been largely ignored until now.
‘Channel 7 said they had a setback because it hadn’t raised much money, but it’s not a setback,’ the friend said.
‘Every donation will help, the cost of changing Shylah’s family’s living conditions, her rehab, her therapy – it’s all the stuff they need. This fundraiser isn’t just for the fun of it.’
The friend, who asked to remain anonymous, told Daily Mail Australia Shylah may need constant care for what could be the rest of her life.
‘It’s to help her and her family who may need to look after her 24/7,’ she said.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal Shylah had turned her life around after a troubled few years that saw her struggle with substance abuse
‘Shylah isn’t a drug addict, she has been in rehab for almost a year,’ her friend said.
‘But people are so concentrated on her previous car accident where she wasn’t even the driver. Her troubles were five years ago. People do change.’
The cruel commentary on Shylah’s accident has rubbed salt into the wounds of her gutted family, who have struggled for years to help Shylah overcome her battles.
‘They are so awful,’ her friend said of the trolls. ‘It’s like people have nothing better to do.’
It is understood WorkSafe is now investigating what the ride’s operators were doing when Shylah made her way onto the tracks.
Shylah’s family have expressed gratitude for every cent the fundraiser has already received.
‘They don’t care if they don’t get any donations, just as long as people know what it’s going for and the right reasoning for it. Not just what other people are commenting and assuming what they’re doing with this money,’ she said.
‘They are very very grateful for the amount already raised. People are ultimately very kind.’
On the day she was struck by the rollercoaster, Shylah had been working at a friend’s stall at the Melbourne Royal Show.
The pair had been on a break when they decided to go on a few rides to kill time.
It is understood Shylah dropped her phone while on the rollercoaster and police believe she walked onto the tracks of the high-speed ride to retrieve the device.
Shocking footage released via a tasteless TikTok video showed the moment of impact.
Shylah’s father told Daily Mail Australia at the time his daughter had suffered life-changing injuries.
‘I can’t talk to my daughter. She’s going to be in a coma for quite a while,’ he said.
‘The injuries are horrific. Horrific. She’s brain damaged. It’s pelvic, her arms, legs, back, neck – there’s hardly a thing that’s not broken. I just can’t work out how the hell so much damage has been done.
‘Even the doctors have said they haven’t seen anything as bad as this for a long time.’
Police revealed last week the rollercoaster was travelling at 70km/h when she was hit.
Ms Rodden had to re-learn how to walk after she was involved in a horror crash in January 2021 when she flipped a car on the Western Ring Road in Melbourne after ploughing into a truck and a car.
She was not wearing a seatbelt and was flung from the car onto the road.
The young woman survived the crash but needed significant rehabilitation to get back on her feet and backed by her supportive parents, she managed to walk again.
Her gruelling path to recovery came after yet another serious car crash in 2019.
A Melbourne Royal Show spokeswoman claimed ‘the safety and well-being of our visitors to the show continues to be our number one priority’.
The safety watchdog WorkSafe is in the process of determining if that statement is true.
The rollercoaster that struck her reopened just days after the incident.
Show management declined to comment on whether new safety procedures had been adopted in the wake of it.