Family expects long recovery for 5-year-old seriously injured in crash

A five-year-old boy who suffered a broken femur and a serious head injury in crash on Highway 50 earlier this month has a long road ahead of him, his family says.

Elliott Rodrigue suffered head injury, broken femur in Highway 50 collision

Elliott Rodrigue lies in his hospital bed at CHEO as his twin brother Oliver blows bubbles at him. Elliott's family says the five-year-old suffered a head injury and a broken femur in an Aug. 9 crash on Highway 50. (Submitted by the Rodrigue family)

A five-year-old boy severely injured in a head-on crash on Highway 50 earlier this month has a long road ahead of him, his family says.

Elliott Rodrigue was heading back to Ottawa from his grandparents' cottage with his family on Aug. 9 when they were involved in a collision on the western Quebec highway.

At the time, the Sûreté du Québec said a vehicle travelling east crossed the centre median, crashing into a westbound vehicle.

Elliott had been in the backseat of his parents' van with his twin brother, Oliver, and two-year-old sister, Abby.

After the crash, he was rushed to the Hull Hospital in Gatineau, Que., where the family was told to prepare to say goodbye.

"Every parent's nightmare felt like it was coming to fruition. How do you say goodbye? I don't know," said his mother Christine MacKinnon-Roy on Saturday.

'He's a goofball and I want him back,' says Christine MacKinnon-Roy, Elliott Rodrigue's mother. (Kimberley Molina/CBC)

Challenging recovery

Elliott was soon transferred to CHEO, however, and is now out of his coma — but his recovery has been slow and challenging.

He had suffered a severe head injury and a broken femur. While he can wriggle his toes and is able to recognize his mother, he can't walk, talk, or sit on his own.

He has to reprogram his brain to do everything.- Christine MacKinnon-Roy, Elliott's mother

His family doesn't know how long it will take him to recover, or to what extent he will.

"We're not in it for the short term," MacKinnon-Roy said.

"He has to reprogram his brain to do everything. So he tells us that. He tells us how fast this will take."

Emergency crews attend the scene of the Aug. 9 crash on Highway 50 in Gatineau, Que., that left Elliott Rodrigue with serious injuries. (Gilles Taillon/Radio-Canada)

Twin brother struggling

MacKinnon-Roy called her son the family's "little artist."

While he has an artistic flair, he also loves sports and before the crash would rarely sit still, his mother said.

While his younger sister only understands Elliott now spends a lot of time in bed, MacKinnon-Roy said his twin brother, Oliver, is struggling.

The two were inseparable, MacKinnon-Roy said, and were going to start school together in the coming days. Now, they're no longer able to.

Elliott (right) and his twin brother Oliver (left) did practically everything together before the crash, and were both set to start school in the coming days. (Submitted by the Rodrigue family)

Hard time adjusting

"He wants to know when he's coming home, why he's not talking to him, when's he going to school, when's he going to get up, when's he going to hug him, when are they going to play?" she said.

"He's having a hard time, I think, adjusting to it. I think we all are."

A fundraising campaign has been set up to assist the family. For now, his mother said, all she has is hope Elliott will recover fully.

"He's a goofball, and I want him back."