Yesterday, Kathy and I visited Joey at the Brisbane Children’s Hospital.  It was wonderful to see how much he has recovered.  There is a long way to go, but we are now seeing the chirpy little guy we all knew starting to emerge once more.  At the time, I did post a couple of blogs in relation to his terrible accident.

Back in November last year, little Joey suffered catastrophic injuries in a horse-riding accident.  The first-responding paramedics did a fantastic job, stabilising the broken and battered little body lying out in a farm paddock.  Once they had applied immediate first aid and stabilised their little patient, they dashed to the nearby Atherton Hospital.

There, the hospital team took over to further stabilise and assess the little guy.  There was no place for Joey’s Dad in the busy swarm of ER staff buzzing about his injured son, so he walked outside to get some fresh air.  Already feeling distressed, his heart sank even lower when he saw one of the paramedics, who had brought Joey in from the farm, crouched beside his ambulance with his head in his hands, sobbing.  There was no escaping the gravity of the situation.

After a few hours in Atherton Hospital ER, Joey was loaded onto a chopper, with his Dad accompanying him, for a dash to the bigger and better equipped Townsville Hospital.  As they came into land, his Dad saw a crowd of what initially he mistook for spectators watching the emergency chopper come into land.  However, the crowd of about 40 people were all waiting for Joey.  Dressed in various colour-coded uniforms that bespoke their specialities, they swept in to rush Joey into the Townsville Hospital Intensive Care Unit.  The average stay in ICU is 36 hours.  Joey was there in Townsville ICU 27 days!

Joey’s prospects were nothing but grim.  The hours, days and weeks dragged on with the little guy hanging onto life by a thread.  Finally, when he was able to be moved, the Royal Flying Doctor Service took him to Brisbane where he was checked into the intensive rehabilitation unit of the Brisbane Children’s Hospital.

Despite his terrible injuries, from his first day in Brisbane, there began a series of constant improvements that have been nothing short of miraculous.  The great work done by the paramedics and hospital teams in Atherton and Townsville paved the way for Joey’s climb back to life.  The care and attention Joey receives is heart-warming.  Even staff not immediately involved in his care keep an eye on him and drop in for a quick hello on their way to and from their shifts.  He is known as the tough little cowboy from far north Queensland.  His engaging sense of humour has won over many new friends.

There are many challenges ahead and Joey will most likely remain in the Brisbane rehab unit through until mid-year.  Joey’s news from home is that the wild dogs are again returning to harass the calves.  So, before leaving the hospital, I promised him that as soon as he is home again and well enough, we will get out and try to call in those wild dogs.  I look forward to reporting on how my little hunting buddy and I go with that project.