Com­mu­nity he­roes de­serve our thanks

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Burswood South Perth -

BALI bombing sur­vivor Peter Hughes knows all too well the dif­fer­ence he­roes can make in a life-or­death sit­u­a­tion.

The 2014 am­bas­sador for the St John Am­bu­lance WA Com­mu­nity Hero Awards is now call­ing for peo­ple to nom­i­nate their own he­roes.

Mr Hughes sus­tained third-de­gree burns to 54 per cent of his body after two bomb at­tacks in Kuta’s popular night­club strip 12 years ago.

He was one of 240 peo­ple in­jured that day, with 202 dy­ing.

Mr Hughes spent two days in In­done­sia, ex­posed to a raft of bac­te­ria, be­fore ar­riv­ing in Aus­tralia for spe­cial­ist burns treat­ment.

“I had eight se­ries of op­er­a­tions, mostly due to in­fec­tion,” he said. He landed in Dar­win, was trans­ported to Ade­laide for treat­ment, then trans­ferred to Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal’s burns unit.

Mr Hughes tech­ni­cally died three times and spent more than two weeks in an in- duced coma be­cause of his in­juries.

He said the com­mu­nity’s life-sav­ing he­roes should be recog­nised.

“As the sur­vivor of a re­ally bad trauma, I think it is re­ally im­por­tant to tell th­ese peo­ple ‘thanks for help­ing us be­cause if it wasn’t for you guys, I wouldn’t be alive’,” Mr Hughes said.

He de­scribes life as “nor­mal” now, en­joyed with his son Leigh, who has been his con­stant support and given him the will to live.

Mr Hughes owns build­ing company Air Roof­ing, is a mo­ti­va­tional speaker and runs the Peter Hughes Burn Foun­da­tion to support the needs of burns sur­vivors and their fam­i­lies.

Sun­day marked the 12th an­niver­sary of the Bali bomb­ings.

Peter Hughes with para­medic Josh Lyons at the launch of the St John Am­bu­lance WA Com­mu­nity Hero Awards.

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