Upon walking into Sophie Delezio’s new apartment, it’s obvious you’re entering a share house occupied by Generation Zs.
Guitars lean up against the walls, a record player sits on a bookshelf, gaming controllers litter the coffee table and a cleaning roster highlights those pesky chores that need to be done.
And as Sophie, 19, nestles onto the couch with her three flatmates and best friends – 20-year-olds Alistair, Blossom and Chase – in her North Sydney pad after a year studying abroad, it’s clear she’s determined to make her new life as normal as possible.
“We usually just hang out on the couch, chatting, playing music, playing Mario Kart or cooking,” she says.
“We’re like a little family, we’ve really lucked out. I’m so happy here.”
While Sophie Delezio’s life appears like that of any normal teenager, her childhood couldn’t have been more different.
In 2003, she made headlines when she was trapped underneath a burning car after it crashed into her childcare centre when she was just two years old.
As a result, Sophie suffered third-degree burns to 85 per cent of her body and lost her right ear, both feet and some of her fingers.
Tragically, three years later, Sophie was struck by a car as she was crossing a pedestrian crossing and flung 18 metres out of her wheelchair. Sophie suffered bleeding on her brain, a heart attack, several broken bones, rib fractures and a tear to her lung.
Fast-forward 15 years and her harrowing childhood seems a distant memory.
Sophie beams as she passionately discusses politics and movies with her flatmates, and giggles when all four of them emerge in the same coloured clothing not once, but twice for our photoshoot.
“We’re always unknowingly coordinating,” says Blossom.
The four friends, who Sophie says were “instantaneously close” from the moment they met at a new school in Year 11, found the apartment in December last year.
“We were out one night having dinner and we were like, ‘Guys, we should move in together’ and then the next day we were sending each other house inspection links,” she tells.
“We come from such different backgrounds, but it just works.”
“We’re very social, like if someone is cooking we’ll drag a chair into the kitchen and chat with them. I love that we all have the same priorities, ideas and lifestyles. It’s been such a breeze.”
After COVID-19 cut her stint in London short, Sophie began to think about what she really wanted to do with her life.
“I’ve always been interested in becoming a companion carer because that’s what I’ve had my whole life,” she says.
“And because I knew the insides of what it was like to be a patient, I thought that would help.”
Sophie chose a company that favoured life experience over qualifications, which is something she found played a huge part in her own experience.
“I’ve had such wonderful experiences with my carers, some of who I count as my family because of the role they played for me when I was younger and knowing how much it impacted me – I strive to be that,” she says.
Sophie’s been working as a carer part-time for five months now and already has three clients on her roster, but is hoping for more.
“I don’t know where life will take me, but I am excited for what’s to come,” she says. “I’m just grateful with where I am right now.”