A young burns victim who survived two horrific car crashes before the age of six has opened up on why she counts herself lucky.
Sophie Delezio, now 19, captured the hearts of Australians as a two-year-old when she was left with horrific burns after becoming trapped under a burning car which collided into a Sydney daycare centre.
Although Sophie lost both feet, an ear, many of her fingers and emerged with burns to 85 per cent of her body, most Australians remember her joyful smile in the wake of the shocking accident.
After a remarkable recovery, disaster struck yet again in 2006 when Sophie was thrown 18 metres from her wheelchair at a pedestrian crossing.
The second incident left her with a broken jaw, collarbone, nine fractured ribs, punctured lungs, two fractured vertebrae and a brain injury.
Despite all of this, she says she’s grateful.
‘Everything you go through there is always going to be some positive even though you might not see it at the time,’ Sophie told comedian Anh Do on ABC program Anh’s Brush With Fame.
‘My parents at the time of the accident, all they could see was what was the horror of what was happening at the time… and it was horrible. But look at how much positivity it has brought.
‘Everything is a choice. You can choose not to see the positive in things. You can choose to just focus on the negatives and wallow in pity.
‘Everyone is allowed to grieve but you also need to look at the beauty in the world.’
Now 19 years old, Sophie has just returned to Australia following a stint studying sociology and international relations at the University of London in the UK.
‘Sophie is a very determined young woman,’ her proud father Ron told The Weekly last year ahead of her departure.
‘She has had to be determined and strong all her life. After everything that she has endured in the past 15 years, her just being alive is a testament to how determined she really is.
‘She has had a plan to live overseas for at least a couple of years and she’s been quietly working toward that goal the entire time.’
Happiness is a choice, according to Sophie, who says there is always a positive side of every situation.
‘I went through a lot and I’ve suffered a lot. I’ve been in pain and it’s horrible but I’ve got to look at all the joy that has happened,’ she said.