Dave was able to keep Anna safe, but Isla was seriously hurt. The daughter is recuperating, but the father, after undergoing multiple surgeries and fractures, is now a double amputee.
On the morning of December 15, Dave Miln and his wife Clare were traveling to Mammoth Mountain in Northern California for ski lessons with their children Isla, 3, and Anna, 1, when a motorized snow blower struck them. The former member of the Australian Defence Force, who had been residing in San Diego, California, flung his body over his kids to stop them from getting sucked into the machine, per PEOPLE.
According to a GoFundMe created to aid the family after the terrible tragedy, Dave was able to keep Anna safe, but Isla was seriously hurt. The daughter is recuperating, but the father, after undergoing multiple surgeries and fractures, is now a double amputee. "The family has banded together with positive determination for the future," the fundraiser reads.
Authorities were ordered to urgently transport the couple's oldest daughter to a nearby hospital after Clare raised the alarm. Tsen Bogan, a family friend, and the GoFundMe organizer shares that Dave, however, remained more than an hour within the machine before rescuers were able to extract him, "remaining aware the entire time," leading to a double amputation, one above the knee on the left and below the knee on the right.
Dave was sent to Reno for treatment of his severe wounds. The brave father also had several fractures and had over ten surgeries in the last three weeks; many more might come. Despite his life-changing injuries, "Dave still maintains his dark sense of humor and razor-sharp wit," Bogan wrote. "[He has] shown strength and resilience beyond comprehension."
On Saturday, Bogan provided an update on the family's condition, adding that Dave still has a long road to recovery ahead of him in his native Australia. Clare is looking after the family, being "brave, courageous, and quite frankly using every ounce of strength she has to hold life together," Bogan reported. "She is doing her best keeping the girls busy with visits to see Daddy, trips to the park, and play dates with friends to keep the fighting spirits of the girls up."
Bogan also updated the audience on the current well-being of the young daughters. "Isla is still in her wheelchair but appears to be slowly getting back to her old self smiling more and asserting herself a little more. She is such a strong and brave girl. Anna is doing her best to be…a little sister who knows her sister can't chase her…for now."
The painstaking process of Dave's rehabilitation is the focus of the GoFundMe, which as of Monday afternoon had raised about $70,000 in donations. "Vehicle modifications for Dave, household equipment and modification and other bits and pieces that Dave will need in adapting to his disability," are listed as some of the planned applications for the funds the family is seeking.
"While Dave learns to run again (and we all know he will!) please donate generously so their strength and energy are focused purely on healing together," Bogan wrote.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe