Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Hunter's Road to Recovery Begins; Family's Dream Holiday Turns into a Nightmare

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Hunter's Road to Recovery Begins; Family's Dream Holiday Turns into a Nightmare

Article excerpt

Byline: Alexia Purcell

THEY were on the trip of a lifetime.

Kerrie and Mick Hall and their four children Haedin, 12, Cody, 10, Joel, six and Hunter, 17 months were travelling down the coast in a caravan to Tasmania.

They had left their hometown of Rockhampton just after Christmas, first stopping at Gladstone, then Bundaberg, Gympie and the Sunshine Coast.

It was there in Landsborough on March 26 that the unimaginable happened.

A tragic accident with a boiled kettle left Hunter with burns to 12% of his little body and on-going yearly surgery.

"He was all wet," mum Kerrie tearfully recalls. "I just ripped his shirt off and tried to get cold water on him."

The family raced him 20km to Caloundra Hospital where he was immediately immersed in cold water before spending three hours in the shower.

Then, during the transfer to the burns unit at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane, the blisters on Hunter's head and face started popping.

"As soon as we got to Brisbane, Hunter was put straight into surgery to have all the burned skin rubbed off. It was only then that we discovered the extent of his burns."

Hunter suffered burns to his head, face, chest, right leg and under his left foot. But it is his right leg that has been the worst affected.

He's had four skin grafts on his right leg but only a quarter took.

He has a scar running from his knee down.

The little boy who only learned to walk three days before the accident now can't even crawl properly.

"He tries, but he does a funny crawl with his leg straight. He has tried to walk again but just falls down."

Kerrie said Hunter will need skin release surgery or a skin graft on his right leg every year up until he stops growing, at the age of about 18.

"He will have scarring for the rest of his life and because scars tighten he will also need physio to help him learn to walk again. …

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