A father is now a double amputee and his daughter is recovering after being seriously injured during a family holiday at a popular Californian ski resort.
Dave Miln and his wife Clare were taking 3-year-old Isla and 1-year-old Anna to ski lessons at Mammoth Mountain in Northern California on the morning of Dec. 15 when a motorized snow blower collided with him and his family.
The Australian Defence Force veteran, who had been living in San Diego, Calif., threw his body over his children in an attempt to prevent them from being pulled into the machine.
According to GoFundMe started to help the family following the horrific incident, Dave was able to keep Anna unharmed, but Isla suffered sustained significant injuries.
Clare raised the alarm and authorities were to quickly get the couple’s oldest daughter to a local hospital.
Dave, however, spent over an hour in the machine until rescuers were able to free him, “remaining conscious the entire time,” resulting in a double amputation, one above the knee of the left and below the knee on the right, according to family friend and GoFundMe organizer Tsen Bogan.
Christina Ackerman, the assistant to the chief of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department, confirmed to PEOPLE that officers responded to a call at 9:08 a.m. on Minaret Road, which is in the vicinity of the popular ski area Mammoth Mountain.
Dave was transported to Reno to treat his extensive wounds. The heroic father additionally suffered a variety of fractures and has undergone over 10 surgeries in the past three weeks, with many more expected to come.
Despite his life-changing injuries, “Dave still maintains his dark sense of humor and razor-sharp wit,” Bogan wrote. “[He has] shown strength and resilience beyond comprehension.”
Isla, meanwhile, also required multiple surgeries but is expected to make a full physical recovery. “The family has banded together with positive determination for the future.”
Bogan gave an update on how the family is doing on Saturday, noting that medically, Dave has a long path to recovery which he will now continue in his native Australia.
In a previous update, Bogan explained, “Isla is still in her wheelchair but appears to be slowly getting back to her old self smiling more and asserting herself a little more. She is such a strong and brave girl.”
Bogan also filled readers in on how uninjured little sister Anna is doing now. “Anna is doing her best to be…a little sister who knows her sister can’t chase her…for now.”
As for Dave’s wife Clare, she is managing to look after the family by being “brave, courageous, and quite frankly using every ounce of strength she has to hold life together,” Bogan reported. “She is doing her best keeping the girls busy with visits to see Daddy, trips to the park and play dates with friends to keep the fighting spirits of the girls up.”
The GoFundMe, which as of Monday afternoon raised more than $60,000, is targeted toward the long journey of rehabilitation for Dave.
Some of the planned uses for funds include “vehicle modifications for Dave, household equipment and modification and other bits and pieces that Dave will need in adapting to his disability.”
“While Dave learns to run again (and we all know he will!) please donate generously so their strength and energy is focused purely on healing together,” Bogan wrote.