It’s been almost a month since life changed forever for my 14-year-old nephew Reuben.
On Saturday 24th April, he and his family went swimming at a Queensland beach.
Like any other day, the kids were in the water, having fun.
But the jump Reuben took ended tragically.
As he dived into the wave, he was caught in a current which pulled his head violently into a sandbank.
His neck broke in several places and he lost consciousness.
He floated to the top of the water.
His dad Andrew, my brother, thought he was pulling a prank.
But he wasn’t.
As Reuben lost consciousness he heard a voice saying ‘Don’t worry – your dad will help you.’
And, true to the voice, his dad came for him.
Quickly realising he was in danger, Andrew dived in and pulled Reuben to shore.
A retired surf lifesaver raced over and performed CPR, saving his life.
The two men had acted swiftly, and a rescue helicopter was able to airlift him with his mum to the Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
He received surgery to fuse his neck together, but is told he will likely never walk again.
He has very little movement below his neck.
He is slowly adjusting to a life he never expected.
These are the bare facts, told and re-told to so many over the last month.
The story is so often met with silence and an ‘I’m so sorry….” or “I can only imagine what that would be like…”
People have been so compassionate.
They have loved our family in words and action.
For a moment every morning I think it must’ve been a nightmare.
But no – this is life now.
And it’s so hard… – for Reuben most of all.
Following the accident, we’re raising funds for his future care.
Below are some media snippets about his accident.
Thank you for all your love in asking how he is.
Every kind comment is appreciated.