Sophie's mother says new torment has bolstered her faith

Carolyn Martin, mother of five-year-old burns survivor Sophie Delezio, says her faith has not been "rocked" but "strengthened" by her daughter's second life-threatening accident.

The Catholic Weekly reports that the mother of five-year-old burns survivor Sophie said religion had been a great comfort to the family through the torment of the last week.

"We are very humbled virtually a nation is praying for Sophie," she said.

Ms Martin and her husband Ron Delezio are keeping vigil at Sophie's bedside at Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick where her condition has been downgraded by doctors to serious but stable.

Sophie was critically burnt when a car crashed through the front of a Fairlight pre-school in December 2003.

She required skin grafts to treat third degree burns to more than 85 per cent of her body. She lost both feet, fingers and an ear as a result of the accident.

Just over a week ago, Sophie was on life support at Sydney Children's Hospital after a car smashed into her pram while she was being pushed across a pedestrian crossing in Seaforth, a northern suburb of Sydney.

The accident left her with a broken jaw and shoulder bone, bruising to her head, rib fractures and bleeding around her left lung caused by massive blunt force trauma.

Ms Martin said that knowing the family has the support of a nation eases their anguish.

"It gives us strength to face the day," she said. "How do you go about facing a situation like this? You have faith and take one step at a time."

Sophie's father, Ron Delezio, says the family is praying for another miracle from Bl Mary MacKillop to speed his daughter's recovery.

During her first accident, the family prayed for Mary MacKillop to intercede on Sophie's behalf.

Sophie carries a picture of Mary MacKillop with her as a constant reminder of the role she played in saving her life.

"We do believe that Mary MacKillop caused a miracle with Sophie during the first accident," says Ron, "(and) we believe Mary MacKillop will take care of Sophie again."

Unshaken faith (Daily Telegraph ttt/5/06)
Sophie's Mum: how my faith's been bolstered )Catholic Weekly 14/5/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Blessed Mary MacKillop | 2006 Update on Canonisation Process

Miracle identification could mean MacKillop sainthood (CathNews 5/7/04)

Hearts are with Sophie (Catholic Leader 14/5/06)
Sophie 'needs another miracle' (AAP/news.com.au 6/5/06)

15 May 2006