Comatose Grandmother's Reaction Leaves Family 'Dumbfounded'
For three weeks, Gai Vieira hasn't said a word.
She doesn't respond when her husband Bert and children Cassie and Trent read her get well cards, Facebook messages, and letters from old friends.
She's in a coma, with a machine breathing for her.
Incredibly though, one thing elicits a tiny reaction -- and to the Vieira family, it represents hope.
When Cassie Vieira-Choy plays a video of Gai's three year old grandson Tyler speaking, Gai's toes begin to wiggle. It's happened more than once, and the family says even hospital staff are stunned.
"To us, it's very special," Bert said.
"We look at each other, we have tears in our eyes and we almost start crying ourselves."
Cassie admits she was "dumbfounded" when it happened, especially because Tyler was also involved in the crash which caused Gai's injuries.
It was September 5, and Gai was driving her Mercedes in Cronulla, with Tyler -- then aged two -- in the back seat.
The vehicle was t-boned by a police car, travelling at 124 km/h in a 70km/h zone, without its lights or sirens activated.
The senior constable driving it was chasing after a driver, who'd been spotted using a mobile phone.
While Gai suffered critical injuries, little Tyler escaped.
But Cassie has been horrified by some of his recent behaviour. He's been smashing toy cars together, and saying "Nanny, smash. Nanny crash".
"We think he's hurting inside", says Bert.
"How do you get these things out of a kid's mind? I hope he doesn't have this forever", he says.
The police officer has been issued with a court attendance notice, for the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
Bert called it a step in the right direction.
"I don't see it as a win. A win would be if they charged him on the first or second day, not the 22nd day. To me, they're finding a way out", he said.
He also delivered a message to the officer: "I know you had no intention to hurt my wife, but she is in a coma. Every action has a reaction. You have to pay for your dues. And I'm sorry".
The senior constable will appear in the Downing Centre Court on November 12, and his duty status is under review.
"I wouldn't miss it," says Mr Vieira. "My family will be there and every one of my friends will be there. I've got relations flying from interstate to be there."
On his wife's health, he is maintaining hope.
"She's still fighting. We're very positive and we'll remain very positive. And we continue to hope for the best."