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Dad of girl hit by car in Manurewa says daughter ‘a little fighter’ as she turns 6 in hospital

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 1 Dec 2023, 3:44PM
Sapphire Wakefield turns 6 today but remains critically injured at Starship Hospital after being hit by a car, while crossing the road with her two older siblings in Manurewa last Thursday.
Sapphire Wakefield turns 6 today but remains critically injured at Starship Hospital after being hit by a car, while crossing the road with her two older siblings in Manurewa last Thursday.

Dad of girl hit by car in Manurewa says daughter ‘a little fighter’ as she turns 6 in hospital

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 1 Dec 2023, 3:44PM

The dad of a little girl critically injured after she was hit by a car police believe was driven by someone on their phone said his daughter is “a little fighter” and is showing signs of healing.

Victor Wakefield has thanked well-wishers and his daughter’s school community for the outpouring of support after Sapphire Wakefield suffered critical head and spinal injuries when she was hit on the way home from school.

Close to $30,000 was raised on Sapphire’s page set up on crowdfunding site Givealittle overnight. Money raised will help the family as they deal with the long recovery the little girl faces.

This morning Victor Wakefield said Sapphire had “made little movements with her arm and hands”. He said she had a lot of cuts on her face which had “started showing signs of healing”.

In the message to Finlayson Park School principal Sumithra Naidoo, he said his daughter was “a little fighter” and thanked everyone for their support.

“Her dad is so grateful because it has been such a tough time for the family,” Naidoo said.

The school office, where Sapphire and her two sisters attend, had been inundated by people dropping off gifts, donating money and sending their love to the family.

“It has been absolutely amazing and the money raised on Givealittle just overnight will make such a difference,” Naidoo said.

Sapphire Wakefield was on her way home from school when she was hit by a car police believe was driven by someone on their phone.Sapphire Wakefield was on her way home from school when she was hit by a car police believe was driven by someone on their phone.

“People have been coming into school all morning donating money, sending their love and bringing birthday gifts. There are so many wonderful people out there.”

The school even had a visit from caped crusader Batman who delivered personalised gifts for Sapphire’s birthday.

Batman hoped to see Sapphire’s sisters but was told they were off for the day visiting their sister in hospital for her 6th birthday.

Batman visited Finlayson Park School in Manurewa to drop off gifts for injured Sapphire Wakefield.Batman visited Finlayson Park School in Manurewa to drop off gifts for injured Sapphire Wakefield.

The school delivered presents and a cake for the family to share as they sit by Sapphire’s bedside at Starship Hospital.

Sapphire’s classmates made cards and sent a video of them singing Happy Birthday.

Sapphire’s 10-year-old and 12-year-old sisters were with her when she was hit and are “traumatised” from witnessing the incident and aftermath.

Naidoo said the girls were getting a lot of love at school and teachers were checking they had enough support.

Sapphire was struck by the car as she and her older sisters crossed Sharland Ave in Manurewa about 3.20pm last Thursday.

It is understood the car hit Sapphire, dragging her for two metres, and then reversed over her.

Her 12-year-old sister has been described as “a hero” by the school for getting her other sibling out of the path of the car and getting help immediately.

Sapphire was resuscitated at the scene several times before being rushed to Starship Children’s Hospital with critical head injuries.

Since then she has had numerous surgeries for injuries - mainly head and spinal injuries.

The school office was inundated with donations and gifts for Sapphire and her family, including some from caped crusader Batman. Photo / Random Acts of Batman FacebookThe school office was inundated with donations and gifts for Sapphire and her family, including some from caped crusader Batman. Photo / Random Acts of Batman Facebook

The serious crash unit is investigating the incident.

Inspector Tony Wakelin said police believed the use of a mobile phone might have been a factor.

Wakelin said using cellphones while driving could contribute to someone’s loved ones possibly being killed on our roads.

“The message is don’t think ‘it won’t happen to me’, as the decisions we are seeing being made by drivers suggest it might.”

“Charges are currently being considered in this case.”

Kirsty Wynn is an Auckland-based journalist with more than 20 years’ experience in New Zealand newsrooms. She has covered everything from crime and social issues to the property market and consumer affairs.

 

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