Teen still in intensive care after school rugby tragedy
A SCRUM collapse in schoolboy rugby has forced Conor Tweedy, the 16-year-old son of a former Queensland Reds forward, into emergency spinal surgery.
The young prop remains in intensive care after two operations since the injury on the opening day of Brisbane's GPS rugby season last Saturday.
The Year 11 student from St Joseph's College, Gregory Terrace sustained neck damage when the scrum collapsed in his Second XV match against Brisbane Boys' College.
"Conor could run out of hospital, walk out or be pushed out … it's all in the balance," father Sean said of the traumatic event.
"We couldn't be prouder of Conor with how he's dealing with things.
"He hasn't been panicking and everyone's support, from his mates visiting and the school, has meant a helluva lot to him and our family.
"Everything counts when you are coming from a very grim place."
Young Tweedy suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury at the C4 and C5 vertebrae near the base of the neck and it will be weeks before a full picture of his range of movement will be known.
A doctor, watching from the sidelines, and school medical staff at BBC's Miskin Street home ground immediately identified it as a serious injury.
Under police escort, the student footballer was rushed by ambulance to Princess Alexandra Hospital last Saturday where he had his first surgery within hours of the game.
"Conor was even saying 'please' and 'thank you' being put into the ambulance," Mr Tweedy said.
"You often don't know what type of kids you have brought up until times like this."
Father Sean was a multiple premiership-winner at lock for the University club and was working for the Sporting Wheelies when he became a Queensland player in 1990.
For the past 25 years, he has classified athletes for the Paralympics and become a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland.
"Conor has been around people in wheelchairs more than most to know what people can do with spinal cord injuries and that is definitely giving him a positive frame of reference," Mr Tweedy said.
Terrace principal Michael Carroll is updating his concerned school community through the Brisbane private school's Facebook page.
"Conor and the Tweedy family are in our thoughts and prayers and the college is offering every support needed to the boys in his team," Mr Carroll said.