SHE should have been celebrating her four-year-old brother's birthday, but instead Bundaberg toddler Lexi Briggs was being flown to Brisbane for emergency surgery after a horrific backyard accident.
Nearly two weeks on from the incident which saw two-year-old Lexi's left hand significantly damaged after she placed it into the path of moving lawn mower blades, the little fighter remains in the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
Four surgeries later and Lexi's little finger and thumb are gone, the three middle fingers have been amputated below the knuckles and skin grafts from her right thigh have been used to repair her damaged palm.
"They couldn't save her fingers: she's basically lost her pinkie and most of her thumb and the top part of her three middle fingers ," Lexi's mum, Jan Saker, said.
"They've taken a skin graft and covered the area and the nerves and blood vessels have responded well, but the skin still needs to heal.
"It's going to be a while until they can shape and reconstruct the hand in the next couple of months."
The best case scenario will see Lexi retain some movement in her hand and hopefully prosthetic fingers are an option down the track.
"She won't have a thumb but she'll still have movement and she'll have her pointer, index and ring finger fused together so she can use it to help the other hand," Ms Saker
"And then down the line ... maybe in a year or two year's time when everything has healed properly, we'll think about a prosthetic hand or fingers for her."
Ms Saker said while the incident had changed Lexi's life forever, she was speaking out to warn others about how a spilt second was all it took for an accident to happen.
The family had planned to celebrate Lexi's brother Joel's fourth birthday in a nearby park but at the last moment they decided to relocate to their yard and Lexi's father Craig Briggs decided to tidy it up yard by mowing the lawn.
After finishing up, Lexi wanted to sit on the ride-on mower and was between Craig's legs when he moved the mower just away from the concrete.
"The other wheel hit a bump and where Lexi was sitting, she lost her balance," Ms Saker said.
"She fell off the mower on to the ground and when she went to get up she put her hand down where the blade was. It all happened so quickly."
Ms Saker said if they had the time over they'd lock the children inside while the lawn mower was in use, but until the accident happened it was not something she considered.
"Maybe this will warn others to be more careful," she said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Lexi's to help pay the family's expenses while they are in Brisbane and to assist with travel.
To help out visit www.gofundme.com/ helping-2-yr-old-little-lexi.
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