The little girl is still in a specialist brain unit six months after suffering a “catastrophic” brain injury that has left her unable to walk, talk or even open her eyes
Image: Met Police)
The mum of a toddler mown down by an unlicensed moped rider begged doctors to donate her own brain in a desperate attempt to save her daughter.
Raaid Ressaf, 19, ran a red light and hit the three-year-old as she crossed the road on a pink scooter with her mum and older brother.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is still in a specialist brain unit six months after suffering a “catastrophic” brain injury that has left her unable to walk, talk or even open her eyes.
Her devastated mum has now told a courtroom of how she relives the horrific accident every time she closes her eyes and revealed she has begged doctors to transplant her own brain into her daughter.
In a statement read to Isleworth Crown Court, the victim’s mum said: “When she was hit she turned around looking extremely scared.
“I remember the eye contact. It was extremely distressing.
“She was a joyful and smiley child. She taught us to be joyful in every little thing life had to offer.
“In lockdown she would celebrate going to put the bins out. Her joyful spirit is deeply missed.
“As a family we find it hard to smile and laugh. We eventually had to accept she would never be the same again.
“I ask doctors and neurosurgeons for some sort of brain surgery for them to restore any part of her brain but they just shake their heads at me. I then offered myself to be a brain donor for my daughter.
“She is fighting for her life. I observe her fighting every day, every hour, for everything and it’s extremely sad seeing her this way.
“We keep on remembering how she was before the incident and what she was able to do back then. It feels surreal as it is like mourning but she is still with us.
“Health is everything in life. Without health there is no life or very little to live for.”
The court heard Ressaf was 0.5 micrograms over the drug-drive limit for cannabis and did not have the correct licence or insurance to drive the moped.
Jailing Ressaf for three-and-a-half years, Judge Simon Davis said: “You tore asunder that family and it remains torn asunder.
“In those few tragic seconds you inflicted a life-changing catastrophic brain damage on the victim.
“It must have been dreadful for her to see the look on her daughter’s face as you impacted her on that moped.
“This family may never see her develop in the way she was with her character, her cheek and her charm. Everyone knows when they are in the presence of someone very special and you have robbed them of that forever.
“It was wicked of you, to be on that road.”
The court heard the victim was walking with her mum and brother in Acton, west London, on June 8 this year.
Prosecutor Nicholas Alexander said: “The defendant overtook the traffic on the left side and went over the crossing when the light was red. As a result of going over the crossing he collided with the victim. She was struck down by the moped and taken to the ground.
“Both her mother and her brother witnessed what had taken place and screamed in shock. The girl momentarily started to cry before she was dragged under the wheels of the moped.”
The court heard consultant surgeon Dr Darren Smith was waiting at the same traffic lights on his bicycle and came to help the girl after hearing her family’s screams.
Two other nurses were also in the area and came to the stricken family’s aid.
Judge Davis said: “That perhaps was the miracle – who would have thought that a consultant surgeon, an off-duty cardiac nurse and another nurse would have been able to get on the scene so fast.”
The girl was taken to hospital in a helicopter and stayed for three months before being moved to a specialist brain unit for children.
Ressaf was arrested and told officers he had bought the moped two days previously and admitted he did not have a licence or insurance.
He also admitted he was driving at around 26mph in the 20mph zone, and that the moped visor was too dark and obscured his vision.
Ressaf is also said to have told police he had eaten a cannabis sweet a week previously – however a prosecution expert ruled this out as a possible cause for the positive drug test, the court heard.
Ressaf, of Wembley, Brent, admitted driving without insurance, driving without a licence, driving while over the drug-drive limit and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He was jailed for three-and-a-half years and banned from driving for 21 months.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.