A tragic tractor accident days out from Christmas has claimed the life of the ‘most amazing’ granddad and father as his heartbroken daughter prepares for a challenging road ahead.
Todd Gillard, 49, was mowing his Wongawallan property on the Gold Coast hinterland a week ago when the tractor he was driving flipped and crushed him.
His wife Melissa, daughter Ebonie and her fiancé Daniel Dejonge rushed to his aid after watching the tractor flip but he couldn’t be saved.
A lifechanging freak accident moments later added to the devastation.
Mum-of-one Ebonie, 24, also suffered lifechanging injures while trying to move an all-terrain vehicle so paramedics could attend to her dad.
The Polaris also flipped, crushing Ebonie underneath and was rushed to hospital in a critical condition.
One week on, it’s unclear what caused both vehicles to flip as police continue their investigations.
Ebonie Gillard (pictured with her fiancé Daniel) remains in hospital after the Polaris she was driving flipped and crushed her underneath
Ebonie remains in hospital with broken ribs, a crushed pelvis and a broken tail bone as she mourns the loss of her beloved dad.
The young hospitality worker spent the the first two days on a ventilator and has undergone the first two of many surgeries.
From her hospital bed, she had paid tribute to her late dad in a series of heartbreaking posts.
‘I still feel like I’m going to come home and you’ll be there and give me a big hug and tell me everything is going to be okay,’ Ms Gillard wrote on social media.
‘I need you more than anything right now mate, you’re where my safe zone someone I could always come to no matter how hard I f****d up, you loved me through so much s**t and never gave up on me.
‘I wish I had one more minute with you to tell you how much I f***** love you, I’ll scream it to the sky everyday so you can hear me.
‘I know you’ll be watching over me and telling me Eb you know that doesn’t go there put it back where you found it.
‘I’m going to miss building with you, being with you, hugging you.’
On Tuesday, she shared a hospital selfie with her son Hudson hours after she underwent her second surgery.
Todd Gillard (pictured with wife Melissa) was mowing his property when the tractor he was driving flipped and crushed him to death
Ms Gillard was living on her parents’ property with her fiancé Daniel and their one-year-old.
Her parents had been away on holidays touring Queensland’s Central Highlands and had returned home just two days before the tragedy.
Her future mother-in-law Sandie Birch has set up an online fundraiser towards Ebonie’s extensive recovery, which has already raised more than $16,000.
‘I have created this page to help my daughter in law with her recovery and rehabilitation,’ the page states
‘If you would like to help Ebonie’s recovery please donate no matter how small so Ebonie who is a partner, mother, sister and daughter can get back on her feet.’
The page also includes regular updates on Ebonie’s recovery.
‘Still a long way to go but just like the strong woman she is, she is taking little steps in the right direction,’ it states.
Todd Gillard adored his one-year-old grandson Hudson (pictured)
On Tuesday, further details about the tragic accident were revealed
‘Ebonie was inside looking after the baby (and) all Daniel heard was, he heard screaming from Mel and ‘call an ambulance, call an ambulance,’ Ms Birch told 7news.com.au.
‘They [the family] raced up there on the Polaris, which is one of those farming vehicles, and basically witnessed that the tractor had tipped and unfortunately he had already passed, so it was quite distressing.’
Ebonie shared a close relationship with her late dad.
‘Her recovery alone is going to be excruciatingly difficult so that’s why I set up the page. At least then, that’s just one less (thing) they have to worry about,’ Ms Birch added.
‘(Ebonie’s) really strong, so that’s a good thing. She’s showing signs that she’s, you know, she’s working through it well, but she’s just a beautiful soul.’
Meanwhile the outpouring of tributes for Mr Gillard continues.
‘Words can never express how we feel and what Todd meant to us. I always told you that Todd was one of those special people – maybe too special for this world which is why he was taken too soon,’ a friend wrote.
‘I’m so lucky to have been your daughter and my son was so lucky to have had you in his life,’ Ebonie (left) wrote in a heartbreaking tribute to her dad Todd (right)