REMARKABLE RECOVERY: The family of Sam Stretton say the Gympie man's sense of humour is well intact as he recovers from a horrific 15m fall from Normanby Bridge.
REMARKABLE RECOVERY: The family of Sam Stretton say the Gympie man's sense of humour is well intact as he recovers from a horrific 15m fall from Normanby Bridge. Contributed

Gympie bridge fall victim loses leg, but still smiling

SEVERE injuries including the loss of his right leg below the knee have not squashed Gympie man Sam Stretton's sense of humour as he continues to recover from a horrific fall off Normanby Bridge last month.

Despite fractures to his back and pelvis, and potential spinal cord damage, Sam's aunt Denise Kapernick said he had been telling visiting friends the leg wound was "just a scratch”.

The 20-year-old suffered critical injuries after plunging 15m from the bridge on the morning of April 13.

Sam Stretton.
Sam Stretton.

His injuries included a broken back and pelvis, compound fractures to his ankles and left elbow and internal bleeding.

Sam's mother Sharon Stretton said the family was finally starting to get an idea when he may be able to go home given his "remarkable” improvement in the past two weeks.

"The level of spinal cord damage is still unknown at this stage and although we are hopeful that he will regain full movement, we need to be patient as only time will tell if there is any permanent loss,” Mrs Stretton said.

Sam Stretton.
Sam Stretton.

"This will all depend on his recovery, and in particular his spinal injury.”

She said doctors had "no other option” but to amputate Sam's leg.

Sam and Sharon Stretton.
Sam and Sharon Stretton.

Mrs Kapernick has asked that anyone who witnessed anything on or near the bridge between 6.30-7am that Saturday to please contact police.

"Sam can't recall what has happened that day,” she said. "We know people on Facebook are wondering what happened; we'd like to know too. It's a mystery.” Police said there was no investigation open at this time.