A great kid . . . Mitch Cutler doing what he does best.
A great kid . . . Mitch Cutler doing what he does best.

Young Mitch is on the recovery road

By CRAIG McTEAR

HIS left leg is broken, his pelvis is chipped, his lung is bruised, and his kidney has a minor tear.

Coffs Harbour's Mitch Cutler is only 17 months old, and he's lucky to be alive.

The blond powerhouse loves playing outside, so it wasn't unusual for him to be on his little four-wheeler at his grandfather's landscaping business on Thursday afternoon.

Mitch probably didn't see the forklift coming.

When it hit him, he fell underneath and was trapped for a terrifying few minutes, screaming.

Employees rushed to free him and he was whisked away to hospital. Doctors ordered an X-ray, a CT scan and other tests for the dazed toddler, and were left in no doubt he had to go to Sydney.

His distressed parents, Terry and Jodie ? who are expecting their second child in November ? were by his side on the air ambulance for the midnight mercy dash.

He had more tests on his arrival at the Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick, and was placed in a hip cast, which he'll have to wear for at least six weeks. How well Mitch responds to further treatment this weekend will determine when he can come home. Monday is looking hopeful.

The good news is a welcome relief to all who love him dearly.

Not surprisingly, the hospital's nursing staff has fallen in love with him, just like another patient on the next floor ? Sophie Delezio, whose plight has captured hearts everywhere.

"He's doing a lot better this afternoon," Terry said from the hospital yesterday.

"He shakes his head and says 'no', because no is the only word he knows."

The nightmare Terry and Jodie have been living has been made bearable by the multitudes of well-wishers, and the professionalism of the men and women who have had Mitch in their care.

"It was a terrible accident, but accidents do happen," Terry said. "I just want to let everyone know that he's doing okay, and I'd like to thank everyone who has helped us.

"If I had to describe Mitch, I'd say he's a goer. He's on the go all the time, and he terrorises the place."

Mitch is as mad about St George-Illawarra as his dad, and has been proudly wearing their colours since he was two months old. Yesterday, officials at the NRL club were told about his ordeal, and a hospital visit could be on the cards.



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