Aussie mum issues desperate plea after toddler suffers brain injury in freak supermarket trolley accident

Casey Gobbert and Millie in hospital
Gobbert is hoping to use the experience as a call to action, urging Australia's leading supermarkets to make sure any trolley with a child seat also has a braking system in place. Photo credit: Facebook / Casey Gobbert

An Australian mum has spoken out after a supermarket trolley caused a significant injury to her young daughter in a freak accident.

Casey Gobbert, a Queensland-based mother-of-two, had been shopping with her children on the evening of February 9 when her youngest, 17-month-old Millie, hit her head on the asphalt road after the trolley she was seated in "blew off the curb and tipped".

Speaking to 7News, Gobbert said she had left Millie in the trolley's child seat as she went to strap her older brother, three-year-old Lincoln, into the car.

Turning her back for mere seconds, Gobbert was horrified when she looked over and saw the trolley rolling towards the curb. She tried to catch it but missed, she told the outlet, with the trolley tipping over onto the road and smacking Millie's head against the ground. 

"The whole trolley tipped sideways, off the raised walkway it was on. Because Millie was in the seat, she stayed put in the seat and hit her head as the trolley landed," Gobbert told 7News

The child was rushed to Logan Hospital, where doctors found she had suffered a significant brain bleed and ordered emergency surgery. 

"They monitored her for a few hours and decided she needed a CT scan, which found a large brain bleed causing pressure on her brain," Gobbert said.

Millie was sedated, intubated and rushed to Brisbane's Children's Hospital, where she underwent emergency brain surgery. According to Gobbert, her daughter was released from surgery at 2am on Friday (local time), but remained in the paediatric intensive care unit until 1:30pm on Saturday, before being moved to the high acuity ward.

The mum told the outlet that Millie began improving following the surgery, with a second CT scan showing her brain had responded well to the procedure. Almost five days after the freak accident, Gobbert says her daughter's "cheeky self is coming through". 

Gobbert is now hoping to use the experience as a call to action, urging Australia's leading supermarkets to ensure all trolleys with child seats also have braking systems in place to prevent any further accidents. 

"I am determined to make this happen. If I can do this and it stops just one child from being injured, then it will be a success," she wrote in an impassioned post to her Facebook over the weekend.

"Prams by law have to have a brake and an arm strap. Why should a trolley be any different? If I can stop just one family from the traumatic events we have gone through in the last 48 hours then it will be worth it. No family deserves to be told their 17-month-old baby girl needs brain surgery from a simple trip."

Gobbert admitted she carries immense guilt following the incident, but said that while she can't change the past, she hopes to change the future by campaigning for brake systems on all trolleys - stopping any other children from suffering like Millie. 

In an update to her Facebook on Tuesday morning (local time), Gobbert confirmed Millie has been discharged and is now at home. 

"She's doing amazing. Likely out tomorrow. She's loved the visitors and has been riding plastic trikes, standing and eating lots. She's tube free now and got to have a bath today," Gobbert said on Monday.