Aubrey Scaletta 6 year old Virginia girl loses both feet in freak cargo belt accident as she played with ratchet strap placed in vehicle. Doctors reattach her feet as more surgeries and physical therapy is hoped to restore some movement for the girl.
A tragedy that could have been averted? A six-year-old girl in Virginia had both her feet severed in a freak accident after they became caught around a cargo belt she was playing with in the back of a pickup truck.
Aubrey Scaletta was riding in the back seat and was nearly pulled out of the window during the May 17 incident.
She was playing with a ratchet strap, a belt used to secure items during transport, before one end wrapped around the drive shaft and cut off her feet.
Were all necessary precautions taken?
Aubrey, the daughter of state trooper Daniel Scaletta, was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital where she had emergency surgery for six hours in a bid to have her feet reattached.
The girl is now recovering in hospital.
Her little sister Jackie was in the car alongside her at the time and witnessed the horrific accident.
‘One end of the strap went out the window and became wrapped around the [vehicle’s] drive shaft,’ the Virginia State Police Association said in a statement.
‘As the strap turned around the drive shaft, Aubrey was almost pulled out of the window and the tightening strap severed her feet.’
Not immediately clear is how the cargo belt came to be inside the family car and whether an effort to secure the belt was made.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, police asked for donations to help Aubrey’s father Daniel and the rest of the family following the ‘terrible accident’.
Long road to recovery
The six-year-old will likely have 10 more surgeries in a long road to recovery.
‘Both feet seem to be receiving good blood flow after being reattached, and as of this morning, doctors have taken off the ventilator,’ police told WSLS.
Aubrey is recovering in the pediatric intensive care unit and her mother Lauren Wensel Scaletta shared an update on her condition on Wednesday to say she was progressing well.
The mother of three hopes she will be moved from the pediatric intensive care unit to the pediatric floor at the hospital.
Aubrey will have skin-graft surgery on June 9 with the family hopeful she will be back home at the end of June in a wheelchair with elevated legs.
The girl will need physical therapy at home or at an out-patient facility when she is discharged.
Medics are hoping if the string of surgeries pan out to have Aubrey walking with braces, and walkers by the end of the year.
Lauren described how difficult the situation has been for the family and thanked everyone for their support.
Explained Lauren in a Facebook post: ‘This has been both the longest and shortest days of our lives. We have held our breath and moved hour by hour most of the time we have been in the PICU.
‘Everyone has done their very best to take care of our girl and we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
‘Our family, friends and new friends have been the backbone of Daniel Taylor and my courage to keep pushing forward.
‘Aubrey is one tough cookie and we are following her lead as best we can. My princess monster is such a warrior.’
Aubrey is said to have her own fan club at the hospital thanks to her bubbly personality.
A GoFundMe was set up on behalf of the family to help them cope with the tragic accident and more than $53,720 has been raised.