‘Hold your babies tighter’: Mum’s tragic message after crash


Just two weeks after a horror crash left two of her children dead and another fighting for his life, a heartbroken Queensland mum has issued a tragic plea to other parents.

Mel Martin, 33, and her fiance Dylan Wadley, 23, were travelling to their Pratten home, in Queensland's Southern Downs region, on November 22 when their car smashed into a guard rail and left the road.

The car flipped, plunging roof down into Wyaralong Dam.

In the back of the car was their five-week-old daughter Hope, one-year-old son Ace, 13-year-old son Leo and four-year-old daughter Mia.

The couple were able to free themselves with Mr Wadley and bystanders repeatedly diving down to try and free the children.

Hope and Ace could be removed from the car but Leo and Mia were tragically unable to be saved.


The Pratten family. Picture: Facebook
The Pratten family. Picture: Facebook

Ace woke from a coma late last week and is stable, however he and his younger sister remain in the intensive care unit at Brisbane Children's Hospital.

Ms Martin and Mr Wadley are at Princess Alexandra Hospital, recovering from surgery and their own crash injuries.

Taking to Facebook earlier this week, Ms Martin urged parents to "take that extra five minutes" with their children.

"Hold your babies just a little tighter tonight! Take that extra five minutes to go back after they are sleeping and kiss them or tuck them in, I'm so glad for all the times I did just that," she said.

"You think you'll have time to make up for missed time, but time waits for no one and tomorrows are never promised!

"My sun and moon are gone and that leaves just an empty black hole that I'll never fill! How do you close your eyes to sleep when half your world is just gone?"

Ms Martin also shared a photo of her family - days before she was due to give birth to Hope.

In the photo, Leo wears a shirt that reads "9 days til' detonation" and Mia and her mum block their ears.


Mel Martin and Dylan Wadley with their three kids, nine days before Hope was born.
Mel Martin and Dylan Wadley with their three kids, nine days before Hope was born.


In another post this morning, Ms Martin shared a picture of her children playing together outside and urged her local community and anyone talking to her to say her children's names.

"I know it can feel incredibly awkward but please don't be afraid to say my children's names, don't feel as though we can't talk about them," she wrote.

"If I talk about a memory or mention their names just in general conversations please don't go all awkwardly quiet, my children lived and loved and they were a huge part of so many lives and right now reliving the good memories is what's going to get me through.

"Their names are not triggers and we should not be making efforts to stop talking about them because my four children were my everything and the beautiful and happy memories are little gems in this world of hurt at the moment so please don't avoid them."


Mia and Leo tragically died in the crash. Picture: Facebook
Mia and Leo tragically died in the crash. Picture: Facebook


Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ms Martin said she was struggling to process the tragedy.

"It hasn't really sunk in for me," she said.

"We're still attempting to wrap our heads around it all."

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family by Ms Martin's sister to contribute towards Mia and Leo's funerals.

"My sister and her partner, my brother have been through the unimaginable, a tragedy that everyone hopes they never have to face," Amie Martin wrote.

"There are no words that can be said, the pain is unbearable. Their family has been torn apart loosing (sic) two and one fighting we ask for hopes and prays to keep the four we have safe and strong.

"I have been asked by many if they can help so if you wish to donate to help ease the stress of finances for upcoming funerals to celebrate two amazing children's too short life's please leave your name and contact so that our family can say thank you."


Mia and Leo with Ace. Picture: Facebook
Mia and Leo with Ace. Picture: Facebook


Originally published as 'Hold your babies': Mum's tragic message