This is Marc one of our Rainbow Beach paramedics. He saved Tristans life on 15th July 2017. Marc is well known in Rainbow for his beard which he has been growing for over 4 years. Marc is willing to give up his signature beard to raise funds for Tristans hydro pool. But it is going to come at a cost, if we can raise $5000 by the 1 year anniversary the beard will go.... or will it stay. Make your donation here and comment STAY OR GO and whichever earns the most will happen on the 15th of July. Here is our story, if you have the time to read. Tristan was your average small town 13 year old who loved motorbike riding, camping, fishing, skim boarding and anything outdoors. Trist was riding his pushbike home to do some work in our family business, he was saving for a surfboard. He never made it home that morning, on the corner of our street Trist was hit by a 4wd travelling at an estimated 60kms per hour. Marc was the first responder who kept Trist alive until back up from Tin Can Bay arrived and whilst they stabilised him for the Lifeflight chopper. I will never forget that helicopter ride begging God not to take my son. The ride to Lady Cilento was fast Trist was lucky Marc arrived on the scene within minutes of the 000 call, he was lucky Lifeflight responded extremelly fast it was a miracle he survived the first 24 hours. Trist suffered a broken leg, hip, collarbone and 6 fractures to the skull (He was wearing a Helmut). 2 weeks in we were advised to turn off his life support.. they advised us for 2 weeks and each time we refused. At 4 weeks he breathed on his own and they told us they thought he would have no cognition and may end up in a hospice for life. We were moved to rehab and Tristans gains were small... the team wanted him to respond to treatment but he didn't. 5 months after the accident we prepared to bring Tristan home. We had no communication from him but we could see him trying to respond to basic commands. I NEVER GAVE UP HOPE!! Even in darkest moments. January 2018 6 months after the accident it was like a switch was turned on... Trist started responding. Slowly he would start to do things he had never done before... raising his arm to scratch... closing his eyes on command... He raised a lollipop to his mouth, we had been told there would be little chance of him being able to put a cup to his mouth... this was a miracle.
February we were heading back to Lady Cilento for reassessment and a PEG (feeding button in his belly). A week before his return we had him eating, it took a long time for each meal, water and meds but we were determined to avoid a surgery... by April he was eating steak and pork crackle. 14th February on my 40th birthday Trist repeated "I love you" to me for the first time since the accident. Now at the end of May Trist is walking assisted, is back at school 1 afternoon a week, is reading, can do basic maths and is starting to remember his past, he also tells some cracker jokes and calls us by our pre accident nicknames. There is a long journey ahead of us and years of therapy but he is here and he laughs and jokes and we see signs of our pre accident boy more and more everyday. But we are so grateful for any progress he makes.
As parents we will always make sure Tristan has absolutely every opportunity to get back everything he lost in this horrible accident as well as making sure our other 3 children have a happy childhood. Having a little support from the community will help so much in making sure we can do that long term. So thank you Marc for being that first responder, thank you for offering such a generous fundraising opportunity and thank you to all who donate. With love, hope and prayers Carolyn, David, Tristan, Paige, Jack and April