PRIDE OF AUS­TRALIA

The brave dad who risked it all to save his lit­tle boy

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - JACK MORPHET

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.