‘Dozens of litres of blood’: How strangers helped save girl
A freak accident left a young Hervey Bay girl fighting for life.
But the selfless act of strangers, along with health care workers who refused to give up, saved her.
Cianna Brenia, 11, was riding a dune buggy with a friend on her grandparents' Takura property when disaster struck.
She was wearing a helmet and safety goggles, but they could not protect her from the shocking injuries that were to come.
While riding around the property on Saturday, the buggy ran over a stick.
It came up underneath the buggy and pierced through her thigh and up through her abdomen.
Immediately, the amount of blood Cianna was losing revealed how serious her injuries were.
By the time an ambulance arrived, Cianna's uncle was performing CPR on her.
Her parents, Maureen Murphy and Andrew Brenia, were not at the property and were told to head to the hospital because their daughter had been injured.
Nothing could have prepared them for what they found when they arrived at Hervey Bay Hospital.
Their daughter had lost four fifths of the blood in her body and had been rushed into theatre just 17 minutes after arriving.
As surgeons worked to stabilise her, dozens of litres of blood were used to keep Cianna alive - so much blood that supplies in both Hervey Bay and Maryborough were exhausted.
A specialist was brought in from Brisbane, bringing more blood as the fight to keep her alive continued.
Maureen said the surgeons working on her daughter stayed past their shift, refusing to go home.
They were determined to do everything they could to save Cianna's life.
"Hervey Bay Hospital was like a machine," Maureen said.
"They not only did their job - they did everything for her.
"It was like they were doing it for their own kid.
"They were all emotionally invested in saving her life."
Eventually Cianna was stabilised to the point where she could be transported to Queensland's Children's Hospital.
Since then her mum and dad have remained by her side.
They were told that on Saturday, their daughter was the most critical patient in Queensland.
But slowly she has started to recover.
On Thursday, Cianna opened her eyes for the first time since the accident.
After a week spent in shock, it was the best gift her parents could have asked for.
Now the family is focusing on the generosity that made their daughter's survival possible.
They are encouraging people across the Fraser Coast to make an appointment at Hervey Bay's blood bank to replenish the region's supplies.
After setting up a Facebook page called Donate for Cianna, the family has been moved by how many people have answered the call.
Maureen said there had been a surge in donations at the centre in Hervey Bay, with appointments booked out for the next two weeks.
But people are still being urged to roll up their sleeves when they can to make sure the blood is there to help save other lives.