The mum of a little boy who died after being left on a daycare bus two years ago has recalled her horror of finding out another child was left on a bus and is now fighting for life in hospital as Today show hosts Allison Landgon and Karl Stefanovic broke down over the latest incident.
Little Nevaeh Austin, three, was picked up from her home to head to Le Smileys Early Learning Centre at Gracemere near Rockhampton on Wednesday.
She was found unconscious in the van six hours later. Paramedics were able to revive her and rushed her to the nearby Rockhampton hospital. She has been airlifted to Brisbane.
Just a few hours north two years ago, Maliq ‘Meeky’ Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo tragically died after he was left in a hot school van following the morning pick up.
His mum Muriel Namok is sickened and angry history appears to have repeated.
The Today show fought back tears live on air after speaking to the grieving mum on Thursday morning, bewildered that it has happened again.
Nevaeh Austin (pictured) is fighting for life in hospital after being locked in a bus for six hours
The latest incident comes two years after the tragic death of Maliq ‘Meeky’ Nicholas Floyd Namok-Malamoo after he was left in a hot school van following the morning pick up.
An emotional Langdon praised Ms Namok on her bravery to speak out after what happened her son, who was found dead on the Goodstart Early Learning Centre minibus in the Cairns suburb of Edmonton on February 18, 2020.
‘Every person out there looks as this and thinks how on earth was this allowed to happen in the first place with your beautiful little boy. How was it allowed to happen a second time,’ Langdon said.
Ms Namok broke down as the interview finished as the hosts also battled to maintain their composure.
‘It’s horrendous,’ Stefanovic said.
Langdon added: ‘There’s nothing else to say to that. And that poor family. It really shouldn’t happen.’
Ms Namok was angry and felt sick to the stomach after hearing about what happened to Neveah on Wednesday.
‘It’s just too tragic. Again, why?’ she told the program.
‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the family today and onwards.’
‘I felt really sick in my stomach. Angry. I know this feeling too well.’
Allison Langdon (right) fought back tears while speaking to Meeky’s mum Muriel Namok
The emotional interview also brought tears to Today show co-host Karl Stefanovic
She added she and Meeky’s siblings are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
‘You don’t You adjust. You adapt. Reconcile. Just take each day as it comes,’ she said.
Ms Namok fought hard for new rules to be put in place where carers had to make sure every child was counted when they got on and off a school bus.
Education Queensland brought out its Look Before You Lock policy in October 2021,
Meeky’s godmother Rowena Bullio described the latest incident alarming in the wake of their campaign to try and ensure what happened to Meeky never happens again.
‘You look before you lock every time without fail,’ she said
‘And why It goes on like this? I mean we’ve had, we saw cracks in aged care and then a Royal Commission came out of that. And this (Maliq) is one child too many, and then we have another child.
‘It’s too unbelievable. There is a feeling of disbelief, and there is anger, there is anger now.’
Ms Bullio told Sunrise there’s no accountability.
‘I think it is more of anger than anything that this could happen again. We went through this with the trials and we saw one childcare worker gets six years, eligible for parole after 18 months,’ she said.
A toddler was revived by Queensland paramedics after being found unconscious in a minivan outside a child care centre on Wednesday afternoon (pictured, police inspect a white van outside the Le Smiley’s Early Learning Centre)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his thoughts and prayers are Nevaeh and her family as he urged Queensland authorities to take action to stop similar situations happening again.
‘I’m expecting swift action from the state enforcement authorities on this issue, and I’m sure that will follow,’ he told Today.
‘For the parents this is absolutely heartbreaking, I can’t even imagine the terrible anxiety that they’re feeling at this time.
‘I look forward to hearing better news, but it’s horrific.’
It comes as Nevaeh’s dad shared heartbreaking details of the little girl’s grave condition.
Shane Austin said Nevaeh has a failing kidney and needed a deep brain scan after being locked inside the bus outside the Le Smileys Early Learning Centre.
Little Nevaeh was rushed to Rockhampton Hospital after being found unconscious and revived by paramedics just before 3pm on Wednesday.
A senior Queensland politician has vowed an inquiry into the horrific incident will be launched as questions begin to be asked about how daycare centre staff didn’t notice the girl was missing.
The three-year-old was found gravely ill in the van parked outside the childcare centre on Lucas Street in Gracemere, just outside Rockhampton
‘She’s the most loudest little girl they tell me… she’s the heart of the daycare,’ Mr Austin told the Courier Mail.
Mr Austin revealed Nevaeh was picked up from his Gracemere home at 9am by the childcare centre bus – nearly six hours before being found unconscious.
The toddler is understood to have been found ‘unresponsive’ in the van outside the daycare on Lucas Street in Gracemere, Central Queensland.
Paramedics, including a critical care team, were called to the centre at about 2.50pm where they treated and revived the gravely-ill girl.
Queensland Ambulance confirmed the three-year-old was ‘unconscious’ when they found her.
Police were interviewing the centre’s staff and inspecting a white minivan, especially a seat in the middle of the bus on Wednesday afternoon
‘The girl was located on a bus out the front of a school on Lucas Street [and] was transported in a critical condition to Rockhampton Hospital,’ Queensland Ambulance said on social media.
The girl was found ‘unresponsive’, the ambulance service’s Central Region operations manager Jason Thompson told media on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Thompson described the situation as ‘traumatic’ for crews who treated her and admitted he had ‘goosebumps’ talking about it.
The toddler was rushed to Rockhampton Hospital in a gravelly-ill condition and is believed to be in a critical but stable condition with her parents at her bedside
‘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 said.
Temperatures in Rockhampton reached a maximum of 29C on Wednesday.
The toddler is understood to be in a ‘critical but stable’ condition in Rockhampton Hospital with her parents at her bedside
The toddler is understood to be in a ‘critical but stable’ condition in hospital with her parents at her bedside.
Five police vehicles were in attendance monitoring access to and from the childcare facility.
Daycare centre staff are now being interviewed by investigators and the white minivan is undergoing analysis, especially a seat in the middle of the bus.
Queensland’s assistant minister for education, Brittany Lauga, said ‘this simply shouldn’t have happened’ and vowed an inquiry would follow.
‘Tonight is a little girl in Gracemere who is fighting for her life in hospital after being allegedly left on a bus at daycare,’ Ms Lauga said in a social media post.
‘Families need to have peace of mind that when they send their children off to school, kindy or day care, they will come home safe.’
The incident echoes the tragic case of Maliq Nicholas Lloyd Namok-Malamoo, known to his family as ‘Meeky’.
Meeky’s lifeless body was found in the child care minibus (pictured), almost six hours after he was allegedly collected from his home last February
Michael Lewis was jailed for six years for manslaughter after the three-year-old boy was left on the minibus in temperatures that reportedly reached 56 degrees Celsius.
During the trial the court heard there had been confusion about the pick-up of Meeky on the morning of his death.
The court was also told that Lewis failed to take Meeky off the bus or sign him in after arriving at the centre.