FAMILY'S LONG WAIT: Sam Stretton, as his loved ones hope he will be once again, with his mum Sharon Stretton.
FAMILY'S LONG WAIT: Sam Stretton, as his loved ones hope he will be once again, with his mum Sharon Stretton.

Mum's long wait as Sam battles Gympie bridge fall injuries

SHARON Stretton said it was "the hardest post I have written," when she announced the awful news about her son, Sam Stretton, who was critically injured 10 days ago.

Sam fell 15m, the equivalent of five storeys, from Gympie's Normanby Bridge on April 13.

He suffered appalling injuries to almost all of his body and is now awaiting news of possible paralysis and amputation.

The injuries include a broken back, a severely broken pelvis, compound fractures to both ankles and left elbow, a broken left wrist, internal bleeding in the pelvis and a torn spleen, as well as other fractures and extensive bruising, Sharon said yesterday.

He was air-lifted by RACQ LifeFlight helicopter to the Royal Brisbane Hospital, where he was rushed straight into intensive care, where the long wait for recovery began.

"He has been cleared of any brain injury, but we have to wait for the swelling of the spinal cord to go down to be sure of any paralysis," she said yesterday.

"He has undergone multiple lengthy operations where they have stabilised his spine, pinned and plated his pelvis, elbow, wrist, and left leg, controlled the internal bleeding and cleaned out his wound sites.

"On Thursday they removed his breathing tube and he was able to speak his first words since they induced him into a coma in Gympie Hospital.

"His right foot has severe damage to the bone, a lot of soft tissue loss and very bad infection."

Surgeons have predicted amputation, but have consulted other experts to make sure this is the last option, she said.

" If he gets to keep it which is unlikely it will be deformed and will require many further surgeries.

"He has been unresponsive twice now, which has been a massive worry, but was stable all day today."

Sam would be in hospital for some time and his recovery would belong and difficult," she said, thanking staff at Gympie Hospital, RACQ LifeFlight and the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Intensive Care Unit.

"My words will never be able to express how truly thankful we are to still have him with us," she said.

She added a "very personal thanks" to her partner Adrian "who found Sam and ultimately saved his life ."

Meanwhile Sam's aunt Denise Kapernick said people wanting to help with the family's expenses ($1000 a week for fuel, accommodation and loss of income, well above the help available from the government) can contact her on Facebook Messenger.