Excellent Support at Accident & Emergency

Rhys Jones with Parent Leanne & Keith
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Rhys Jones is back riding his bike and looking forward to a Queensland holiday in December.

He’s champing at the bit to compete in his favourite BMX competitions, to go surfing and to muck around with his mates.

That is a far cry from his situation last December when Rhys, 14, was struggling to remain conscious, vomiting and in need of emergency care after crashing his bike and suffering a moderate subdural haemorrhage (bleeding on the brain).

Thanks to the quick response of his mates and the timely and professional support of Portland District Health’s accident and emergency department, Rhys is now well on the way to a full recovery.

The road back to good health has been a long one but Rhys’ parents Leanne and Keith are thankful that the worst is behind them.

Rhys came off his bike at high speed on December 15 and sustained the serious head injury even though he was wearing a helmet.

Although stressed by Rhys’ condition, his mates quickly contacted the ambulance and Rhys’ parents and even set up traffic controls around the accident site.

He was rushed to Portland District Health where he was stabilised before being flown to Melbourne for surgery.

“The emergency department people were really good,” Keith said. “There was always a nurse at his side and the doctor and surgeon came in to supervise.”

“They also supported us through the whole process,” Leanne added.

As soon as his vomiting was controlled, Rhys was given a CT scan which confirmed the injury. He was then flown to the Royal Children’s Hospital where he underwent surgery which resulted in the removal of a piece of his skull about the size of the 50 cent coin and about 40 stitches.

Keith and Leanne were also offered accommodation support through the PDH Alcoa emergency transfer fund.

The operation was a success and in May Rhys was given the all clear to go back to normal activities, although he still has to be careful and wear a helmet when participating in sports.

“He posted `I’m free’ on Facebook when he was given the all clear, but he still needs to take it easy,” Leanne said.

Rhys continues to suffer from cognitive fatigue and needs to rest, with the focus now on ensuring he is able to maintain his schooling.

“We really appreciate what everyone has done for us and were very impressed by the service at Portland District Health,” Keith added.

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