On Saturday 27th May, our brother Luke woke up, put on his cycling gear and headed out on his beloved road bike for a training ride. He was training to get fit in preparation to row surfboats again this season with some mates at Fairhaven SLSC.
As tragically so often seems to happen these days, this is another story of driver vs cyclist. As Luke was enjoying his ride, a driver allegedly failed to give way and Luke and his bike were brutally impacted by a 4WD vehicle.
Luke was airlifted to The Alfred Hospital Trauma Centre with life-threatening injuries. Upon arrival Luke had lost a lot of blood and had to be resuscitated by the amazing medical team who undoubtedly saved his life. He was immediately taken to theatre where he underwent fourteen hours of surgery. Luke's pelvis was fractured and split open by the impact. He has numerous and complicated fractures to his femurs in both legs and fractures to his tibia and fibula in his right leg. He has a number of major wounds to his upper and lower legs. His left elbow and humerus are badly fractured. His kidney is bruised and his bladder was split. A CT scan appears to have ruled out any significant brain trauma at this stage. He has a broken rib & vertebra, his chest and lungs appear to be doing OK.
Luke got to ICU around 4 am Saturday after 14 hours in theatre. His condition is still critical. He's now sedated and intubated in an induced coma. When the sedative medication is backed off, there are indications that he can hear us, and he is making attempts to communicate with us by squeezing our hand or nodding. We, his family are all by his side, and will remain so.
Luke has been working full time as a Building Designer with an architectural firm in Lorne - a dream job for him, in a career he has worked hard to build up. Recently Luke has been balancing his career with being a loving single dad to his beautiful little 8-year-old boy Alfie. Luke has been Alfie's sole carer while Naomi - Luke's ex-wife and Alfie's Mum - has been recovering from her own ongoing battle with breast cancer. Alfie has been enjoying his new school in Ballarat this year. We are grateful that Naomi was in a position to suddenly take Alfie back into her full care, and Alfie has now started school again back in Torquay.
It's going to be a long time before Luke can work again, let alone walk. We've set up this fundraising page because we know his friends, family and supporters are going to want to help Luke and his family in this dire time of need.
Any donations you wish to generously give will be used to assist Alfie and Naomi, and to cover Luke's ongoing day to day life expenses while he is fighting for his life.
Luke is in no position to take visitors apart from his immediate family. As Luke hopefully slowly progresses to a point where he can start to rehabilitate and start to see his wider family and friends, we will communicate this to you all. His recovery will be a very long process and he will need the support of each and every one of you over a very long haul.
Apart from your thoughts and prayers, at this point in time, this fundraising effort is the best way you can help Luke. Anything you can give will help to alleviate some of the peripheral pressure that has inevitably resulted from this tragic accident.
Update Mon night 29th May;
We are overwhelmed by all of the support, kind words and generous donations from so many people. Luke is fighting hard. He remains sedated and intubated in ICU with an amazing team of staff looking after him. We cannot speak highly enough of the incredible people who have been involved in Luke's care. Luke went back to theatre this afternoon to have his wounds cleaned and attended to. Tomorrow he will have a lengthy surgery to stabilise the fractures in his arm and legs. He will also have some filters positioned in his abdominal veins to reduce the chance of blood clots from his legs moving up to his lungs. His condition remains critical but stable.
Update Wed 31 May;
Luke remains intubated and sedated in a critical but stable condition. On Tuesday morning, Luke had the IVC filter inserted to hopefully catch any clots before they get to his lungs. He also had a CT scan of his left arm/elbow. Theatre did not eventuate on Tuesday afternoon. Luke has many complex needs at the moment and keeping him alive remains the number one priority. We are quickly learning that the Alfred Trauma Centre and ICU is a mind blowing place that involves hundreds of amazing individuals working in specialist teams who all coordinate together to manage each patient. Luke has dozens of these incredible people visiting him each day, making complex decisions about how to best get him through the next couple of hours and days. We are in awe of the work they do and anyone reading this should take a moment to appreciate how lucky we all are in this country to have access to their knowledge, skills and hard work. Any of us could be in there ourselves at any time as a result of a split-second, life-changing moment. Today's plan is for Luke to go to theatre this afternoon for at least 6 hours of surgery to his many fractures and some other injuries. This will be followed by another operation on his pelvis and other injuries on Thursday. He'll need lots of strength over the next 36 hours. We are once again overwhelmed by the support and generosity of so many people. Luke had a moment yesterday that was very heart warming; upon telling him that his cycling mates from Ballarat, who refer to him as Pablo, had left messages of support, he was able to slightly open his eyes and gently nod and squeeze our hand. A similar moment occurred this morning when we put some earphones in his ears to listen to some voice messages friends have sent through. He knows people are supporting him and he is fighting hard!