MAKING TIME TO CARE: Dave Elder says he and his wife Carolyn are selling some profitable Rainbow Beach businesses to create more time for them to spend with their family, including Tristan Sik, the boy whose ongoing recovery has amazed everyone who has heard about him.
MAKING TIME TO CARE: Dave Elder says he and his wife Carolyn are selling some profitable Rainbow Beach businesses to create more time for them to spend with their family, including Tristan Sik, the boy whose ongoing recovery has amazed everyone who has heard about him. Arthur Gorrie

Gympie region businesses to be sold in act of parental love

WITTY comebacks were not what the doctors expected of Rainbow Beach teenager Tristan Sik, only a year after the terrible crash from which he was not expected to recover.

They warned his parents, Dave and Carolyn Elder it would take two years for him even to be able to communicate by blinking.

His amazingly energetic pursuit of recovery has surprised everyone, including the RACQ LifeFlight helicopter crew who took him to hospital from the crash scene 18 months ago.

That is why he will soon be on the cover of the RACQ's magazine, The Road Ahead.

It is also why Mr and Mrs Elder are selling three of their four busy Rainbow Beach businesses.

"We've got one shot to get his recovery right," Mrs Elder said. "Tristan's way ahead of where he should have been and all we can do is keep on going.

"In order to do that as a family, I need my husband home more and that means selling a few businesses," she said.

"And we've got three other children and they need parents too."

Tristan's recovery is a huge team effort by three generations, she said.

Mrs Elder said her mother had regularly travelled from Hervey Bay to help and the whole family had pitched in to travel between Rainbow Beach and the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

Somehow the couple's other three children managed to help out and to keep going with their own educational efforts.

And backing all that up has been the contributions from the medical community at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane and the staff and students at Victory College.

"He was walking in the pool recently, unassisted, and someone remarked on how well he is doing. I said, 'that's all our hard work.'

"Tristan heard me and came back with, 'And all my hard work too.' He keeps surprising us," she said.

Tristan was in the office with Dave on Sunday, at the family's vehicle workshop, headquarters for the vehicle maintenance and towing businesses now for sale, as a package.

"We're keeping Rainbow Beach 4 x 4 Hire. We're selling Rainbow Beach Service Centre and the two towing businesses, Rainbow Beach Towing and Fraser Island Towing.

"Fraser Island towing is based on the island, with its own base on Fraser itself," Mr Elder said.