A little girl is in a critical condition after being left in a parked childcare bus for several hours in Central Queensland.
The three-year-old, named Nevaeh, was found semi-unconscious in the hot vehicle near Rockhampton just before 3pm on Wednesday.
Watch the video above for more on her condition
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Police and ambulance officers were called to the Le Smileys Early Learning Centre on Lucas Street in Gracemere.
Paramedics treated the toddler at the scene and she was rushed to Rockhampton Hospital.
The temperature outside was around 28 degrees with the toddler understood to have been inside the vehicle for more than five hours.
Nevaeh’s father, Shane Austin, told the Courier Mail newspaper on Wednesday night that his little girl had been rushed to Brisbane “for a deep brain scan” and that “her kidney was failing”.
“She’s the most loudest little girl they tell me… she’s the heart of the daycare,” Mr Austin said.
Queensland Ambulance Service Central Region operations manager Jason Thompson said on Wednesday it was unknown how long the girl was on the bus.
“On the crew’s arrival Queensland Police were already on scene and escorted the crew into the childcare centre where the young child was on the floor in the admin area,” he told reporters.
“Crews did a quick assessment and took her to the vehicle, waiting for critical care paramedics to arrive.
“Once they did a few minutes later, the patient was stabilised and transported to Rockhampton Hospital.”
Thompson said the child did not need to be intubated while being taken to hospital.
Police are investigating and multiple officers were at the scene.
“At this point in time I am not aware of the time (the child was in the bus), I believe it us unknown and that’s under investigation,” Thompson added.
A forensic examination of the bus has been launched.
“Police will investigate it thoroughly, it’s a trying time no matter what the situation is, you could put yourself in their shoes (childcare centre staff); they would be very distressed.”
“When a child is sick it is traumatic and when one is critical and unconscious, your heart goes out to them, the (QAS) crews are travelling well but they are traumatised.”
The story rings tragically close to home for the family of Malik Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo, affectionately known as Meeky, who died in similar circumstances two years ago.
The three-year-old was found dead on a Goodstart Early Learning centre bus at Edmonton, south of Cairns, in February 2020.
The childcare centre was fined $71,000 and former director and bus driver Michael Glenn Lewis was jailed for six years after being convicted of manslaughter.
Meeky’s mother, Muriel Namok, told Sunrise she was sickened when she found out that history appears to have repeated.
“This is terrible, I was sick to my stomach, angry,” she said on Thursday.
“I know this feeling all too well.
“It is important because we’re trusting these people with our children and we’re trusting them to bring them back.
“They need to be held accountable.”
Watch Muriel speak to Natalie Barr about the tragedy in the video below