Rob Turner and his young family arrived in Karumba for their once-a-year family holiday when their world suddenly changed.
Rob Turner and his young family arrived in Karumba for their once-a-year family holiday when their world suddenly changed.

Tragic truth behind tradie’s headache

A young builder who was on a Queensland holiday with his young family has had his world turned upside down when a "severe" headache turned into something much worse.

Rob Turner, who had just arrived in the sleepy seaside town of Karumba with his wife Gabrielle and their three children Estelle, 5, Frankie, 3, and Otis, nine months, were in the car together when he suffered a "severe pain in the head".

Mr Turner stepped out of the car, collapsed and became paralysed in front of his terrified family.

The much-loved tradie, who owns and runs a small business in southwest of Cairns, was flown to Townsville Hospital and placed in intensive care where doctors discovered he had a very rare bleed on the brain.

In a heartbreaking GoFundMe post, friend Caitlin Francis said Mr Turner was a "fighter" and while his condition is slowly improving, "there is a long and uncertain road ahead".

"He will be in hospital for a number of weeks while doctors continue to monitor him and he will then undergo brain surgery, facing many months of rehabilitation," Ms Francis wrote on the fundraising page.

"It is not clear how long it will take for Rob to recover, or what this will look like."

Rob Turner collapsed and became paralysed in front of his terrified family while on holidays in the sleepy seaside town of Karumba.
Rob Turner collapsed and became paralysed in front of his terrified family while on holidays in the sleepy seaside town of Karumba.

Speaking to 7News, Mrs Turner said the last week had "changed the future" for her family.

"One thing that is certain is that we will never take another day for granted," she said.

"It is overwhelming to think Rob has been a ticking time bomb since he was born and we didn't even know."

With Rob unwell and Gabrielle taking care of their three young children and her husband simultaneously, their small business cannot operate. Ms Francis hopes raised funds will cover medical expenses and everyday costs their business income once looked after.

"The future of this beautiful family is now unclear," Ms Francis wrote.

"Gabrielle and the kids have relocated from the Atherton Tablelands to Townsville to be by his side, and face hefty accommodation and living costs while they are there.

"Like many young families, Rob and Gabrielle also have a mortgage and bills that will not wait."

Rob Turner is in hospital in Townsville, where his young family have been forced to relocate.
Rob Turner is in hospital in Townsville, where his young family have been forced to relocate.

It's understood this is not the first time the family have been dealt a terrifying health blow in recent years.

Their eldest daughter, five-year-old Estelle, underwent urgent open-heart surgery when she was just four weeks old.

Friends from their tight-knit community say the family need support now more than ever.

"Rob and Gabe are so loved here because they are such kind and generous people themselves. They have made such an impact on everyone around them," family friend Ian Tomasetig told 7News.

"I've been in Townsville with them in recent days and it is the unknown that is really hard.

"He is slowly progressing every day, which is giving us all hope."

So far, the fundraising page has raised more than $70,000 which Mrs Turner says she is "blown away" by.

"The support we have been shown by the local community has been overwhelming," Gabrielle said.

"Once we get through this, we will pay it forward and make it our mission to give back."

 

Originally published as Tragic truth behind tradie's headache


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