Christmas miracle: Critically injured boy to return home
TO SAY the last five months have been harrowing for Carolyn and Dave Elder and their son Tristan Sik would be a gross understatement.
In July, Tristan, 13, was knocked from his bike near his home at Rainbow Beach and subsequently placed in an induced coma at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
He suffered a broken collarbone, pelvis and lower left leg, fractures to his skull and right eye and bleeding and pressure on the brain.
Through intense therapy, the Victory College student has made improvements.
However, he is still confined to a wheelchair and through daily physical therapy, he is slowly starting to regain his communication and motor skills.
In just 11 days, Tristan will reach another significant milestone.
On December 13, he will spend his first night at home in over five months, returning to Rainbow Beach to spend Christmas with his family.
Tristan's mother, Carolyn Elder, has spent pretty much every minute with her son in Brisbane since the accident, and while news of Tristan's homecoming has made for the perfect way to finish a challenging year, there are many logistical elements that need to be put in place to ensure his recovery continues.
Because the family home is not wheelchair accessible, Mrs elder has had to rent a motel room and a wheelchair friendly vehicle for Tristan's return.
The family has also employed several therapists who will come to Rainbow Beach over the Christmas period to ensure his progress continues.
She said his homecoming, albeit a temporary one, will make for an extra special family Christmas.
"We didn't even know that he would here for this Christmas," Mrs Elder said.
"Getting him home is contextual therapy.
"We will be taking him fishing, to the beach and walking him down the main street."
Mrs Elder, who also has three younger children, splits her time between Lady Cilento and Rainbow Beach.
She spends one night per week at home before heading off to Brisbane to assist with Tristan's therapy.
While Tristan will have to head back to hospital in mid-February, Mrs Elder said he was looking forward to the change of scenery.
"He is tired of the hospital scene," she said.
"The kids and my husband can't wait until we are all in the same town.
"It will be great."