Melbourne Royal Show tragedy: Rollercoaster victim Shylah Rodden awake but unable to communicate

EXCLUSIVE: Rollercoaster victim’s living hell: Shylah Rodden is now a prisoner in her body – awake but unable to communicate – after injuries suffered in an accident that shocked Australia

  • Shylah Rodden, 26, was hit by a rollercoaster at the Melbourne Royal Show 
  • Ms Rodden was ‘horrifically’ injured in the crash and had been in a long coma 
  • She is now awake and has been moved out of intensive care but is unable to talk 
  • Ms Rodden’s family have launched legal action over injuries she suffered in 2018
  • They are also considering suing the Melbourne Show and the ride operators 
  • A GoFundMe page established on September 28 hasn’t reached its $20k target 

A woman put into an induced coma after being hit by a rollercoaster is now awake but unable to communicate to her shattered family months after the horrific crash.

Shylah Rodden faces years of rehabilitation after suffering a massive brain injury when she was flung nine metres into the air by the fast-moving ride while trying to retrieve a dropped phone at the Melbourne Royal Show on September 24.

Hospital staff have confirmed to Daily Mail Australia that Shylah’s condition has been reclassified as stable. 

The 26-year old had been in a medically induced coma at the Royal Melbourne Hospital since the accident.  

While the hospital has reclassified Shylah’s status, her devastated family told Daily Mail Australia on Thursday they were still seriously concerned about her situation.

Shylah Rodden is on the road to recovery after being thrown nine metres into the air when she was struck by a rollercoaster at the Royal Melbourne Show

Shylah Rodden is on the road to recovery after being thrown nine metres into the air when she was struck by a rollercoaster at the Royal Melbourne Show

Horrifying footage shows Shylah Rodden (pictured in black) moments before being hit by the Rebel Coaster at the Melbourne Royal show on September 24

Horrifying footage shows Shylah Rodden (pictured in black) moments before being hit by the Rebel Coaster at the Melbourne Royal show on September 24 

‘She had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury so if that’s what people think is stable they are wrong,’ Shylah’s younger sister Caisha Rodden said.  

It is understood Shylah’s vital signs are now within normal limits, allowing her to be moved from a high dependency ward to a regular ward. 

Caisha said while her sister was awake, she had a long road ahead of her in regards to recovery and was still unable to communicate with loved ones. 

‘Just because she’s awake doesn’t mean she’s stable,’ Caisha said. 

GoFundMe fundraiser established to help with her recovery has now raised more than $18,000.       

Wile Shylah’s condition has been steadily on the improve, with her status downgraded from critical to serious on October 11, the true extent of her injuries remain unknown.

The prospects of her having a normal life again are slim to impossible, and there are  fears she may never be able to speak.

Shylah Rodden's (pictured) sister said she had a long road ahead of her in regards to recovery and was still unable to communicate with loved ones

Shylah Rodden’s (pictured) sister said she had a long road ahead of her in regards to recovery and was still unable to communicate with loved ones

Shylah (pictured) suffered horrific injuries when she was hit and dragged by a rollercoaster

Shylah (pictured) suffered horrific injuries when she was hit and dragged by a rollercoaster

Shylah’s father Alan Rodden told Daily Mail Australia soon after the incident that his daughter had suffered life-changing injuries.

‘I can’t talk to my daughter. She’s going to be in a coma for quite a while,’ he said.

‘The injuries are horrific. Horrific. She’s brain damaged. It’s pelvic, her arms, legs, back, neck – there’s hardly a thing that’s not broken. I just can’t work out how the hell so much damage has been done.

‘Even the doctors have said they haven’t seen anything as bad as this for a long time.’

A friend in close contact with Shylah and her family told Daily Mail Australia the money raised from the fundraiser would go toward helping Shylah’s long road to recovery. 

‘People are under the impression that this money is just for her family. But people need to know this money is for Shylah’s recovery,’ the friend said.

‘This money will go towards her therapy, her rehabilitation, things they need to change around the house for showering and toilet needs.’ 

The fundraiser, established by Shylah’s friend Sylvia Dess, was set up days after the accident, but was largely ignored for several weeks. 

‘Every donation will help, the cost of changing Shylah’s family’s living conditions, her rehab, her therapy – it’s all the stuff they need,’ she said.  

Daily Mail Australia revealed in October that Shylah had turned her life around after a troubled few years that saw her struggle with substance abuse and a car crash in January 2021.

‘Shylah isn’t a drug addict, she has been in rehab for almost a year,’ her friend who asked to remain anonymous said. 

‘But people are so concentrated on her previous car accident where she wasn’t even the driver. Her troubles were five years ago. People do change.’

Cruel online commentary about Shylah’s accident has rubbed salt into the wounds of her gutted family, who have struggled for years to help her overcome her battles.  

‘They are so awful,’ her friend said of the trolls.

‘It’s like people have nothing better to do.’

Mr Rodden (pictured) has been involved in three separate traffic accidents, in 2018, 2019 and 2021

Mr Rodden (pictured) has been involved in three separate traffic accidents, in 2018, 2019 and 2021

It is understood WorkSafe is investigating what the ride’s operators were doing when Shylah made her way onto the tracks.  

On the day she was struck by the rollercoaster, Shylah had been working at a friend’s stall at the Melbourne Royal Show.

The pair had been on a break when they decided to go on a few rides to kill time.

It is understood Shylah dropped her phone while on the rollercoaster and police believe she walked onto the tracks of the high-speed ride to retrieve the device.

Shocking footage released via a tasteless TikTok video showed the moment of impact.  

Police revealed the rollercoaster was travelling at 70km/h when she was hit. 

Ms Rodden had to re-learn how to walk after she was involved in a horror crash when she flipped a car on the Western Ring Road in Melbourne after ploughing into a truck and a car. 

She was not wearing a seatbelt and was flung from the car onto the road.

The young woman survived the crash but needed significant rehabilitation to get back on her feet and backed by her supportive parents, she managed to walk again.

Her gruelling path to recovery came after yet another serious car crash in 2019.

A Melbourne Royal Show spokeswoman claimed ‘the safety and well-being of our visitors to the show continues to be our number one priority’.

The safety watchdog WorkSafe is investigating.

The rollercoaster that struck her reopened just days after the incident.

A Melbourne Royal Show spokeswoman claimed 'the safety and well-being of our visitors to the show continues to be our number one priority' (pictured, the Royal Melbourne Show)

A Melbourne Royal Show spokeswoman claimed ‘the safety and well-being of our visitors to the show continues to be our number one priority’ (pictured, the Royal Melbourne Show)

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