PRIDE OF AUSTRALIA
The brave dad who risked it all to save his little boy
The Pride of Australia awards recognise the courage of the unsung heroes of NSW. Meet Brad Lewis and the son he saved falling off a backyard balcony — and find out how to enter the competition inside
THE last thing Brad Lewis recalls before blacking out was squeezing his eight-year-old boy to his chest as the two of them fell from a balcony. The Lewis family had been enjoying a barbecue at the home of friends on a 20-degree August day in Church Point, on the northern beaches, when Brad and his son Oscar plunged five metres on to concrete.
Oscar and his brother Connor, six, had been playing with Nerf guns and some of the errant foam bullets had sailed over the balcony, so Oscar hoisted himself on to the concrete balustrade to see where they’d gone. Oscar was doubled over the railing, with his entire torso over the ledge, when Mr Lewis saw his boy’s feet leave the ground.
“I was only half-a- metre away so I twisted to my left, leant over the balcony and grabbed him by the waist but the weight of our upper bodies pulled me over the railing as well,” Mr Lewis, 42, from Warriewood, said.
“As I went over, I clutched Oscar as tight as I could, then I blacked out.”
The brave dad has been nominated for the Pride of Australia medal for saving Oscar’s life.
Mr Lewis speared the concrete head first, tore a gash from his ear to the crown of his head and broke his C6 vertebrae at the base of his neck and a rib.
“I remember waking up and my mate Beau (Worthington) was holding my head and I could see blood all over his fingers,” Mr Lewis said.
“I asked whether Oscar was OK and when he said Oscar was being looked after, I said ‘don’t let the kids see me like this’.”
Doctors echo Mr Lewis’ amazement he didn’t die that day, and suspect if he’d hit the path at a slightly different angle, he would have been paralysed or killed.
Oscar’s head was nestled under his dad’s chin, which cushioned him from the worst of the impact, but he still sustained a hairline skull fracture and bleeding on the brain.
In the eight weeks since the accident, Oscar has developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and now frets about being left alone for the first time in his life.
NOMINATIONS FOR PRIDE OF AUSTRALIA ARE OPEN AND EVERYONE IS ABLE TO NOMINATE. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT PRIDEOFAUSTRALIA. COM. AU
Brad Lewis, of Warriewood, with his sons Connor, 6, and Oscar, 8, at Royal North Shore hospital.
Lewis with sons Connor and Oscar and family pet Marley. Picture: Tim Hunter.Lewis in intensiv e care.