Coast girl's gift of life after tragic pool death

Karina and Andre Bombski with daughter Hannah, 13. Their younger daughter Sophie, 10, died last year after having a seizure in the family pool. The family donated Sophie’s organs
Karina and Andre Bombski with daughter Hannah, 13. Their younger daughter Sophie, 10, died last year after having a seizure in the family pool. The family donated Sophie’s organs

"LIVE life peacfuly."

Sunshine Coast mum Karina Bombski has her 10-year-old daughter Sophie's words, complete with spelling mistakes, tattooed on her back.

They were the words, written in the colours of the rainbow, that Ms Bombski, her husband Andre and older daughter, Hannah, now 13, found on Sophie's bedroom whiteboard after the little girl's death in March last year.

The family has kept Sophie's bedroom the same as she left it before her death in the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. "Her school bag is in the same place she dropped it. Everything is exactly the same," Ms Bombski says.

"Every day we go in like we would normally do and say good morning to her and open the window. At night, we go in and close the window. She liked to sit at her desk and look out the window."

Sophie was found at the bottom of the family's swimming pool after having a seizure in February 28 last year. She had been seizure free for two years after being diagnosed with epilepsy as a three-year- old.

Hannah phoned triple-0 as Mr Bombski performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Sophie, keeping her heart beating until paramedics arrived. She survived for two more days but on March 1, doctors told the Bombskis the unthinkable - Sophie had no brain activity.

"There was nothing we could do for Sophie," Ms Bombski said.

Sophie Bombski was a “loving girl” who would have wanted to help others with organ donation, her mother says.
Sophie Bombski was a “loving girl” who would have wanted to help others with organ donation, her mother says.

But when a doctor approached them about organ donation, they were able to help others with Sophie's help.

"It was a pretty easy decision when they asked us about donating Sophie's organs because she was such a loving girl," Ms Bombski said. "It didn't take long for us to make a decision. I think it was what Sophie would have wanted. We know if we were waiting for an organ donor for our children we would hope that someone like Sophie would be able to donate."

The little girl's story forms part of a photographic exhibition, Gifted Lives, at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. The exhibition can be viewed at the hospital until the end of August.

This week is DonateLife Week. To join the organ donor register: donatelife.gov.au



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