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Mum won't forget moment burns victim woke from coma

Millmerran burns boy Caleb Gundy, 8, has woken from an induced coma after 27 days.
Millmerran burns boy Caleb Gundy, 8, has woken from an induced coma after 27 days. Contributed

LITTLE burns boy Caleb Gundy has taken his first guided steps to recovery, waking from an induced coma after 27 days.

His mother Jodie Silver was by Caleb's side when he opened his eyes for the first time since June 7 when he suffered severe burns in a backyard drum fire on June 7.

It's a moment she'll never forget.

"Just to be there and to see it … the relief that comes over you when you realise they are out of that coma," Mrs Silver said.

"He was in a daze but he could recognise who we were."

Caleb, 8, can recall in detail the incident that left him with severe burns to 45 per cent of his body.

That has spared Mrs Silver and her husband Allan Gundy from more emotional turmoil, trying to explain why Caleb has to learn every day things such as sitting up and walking again.

"I actually let him initiate that conversation himself," Mrs Silver said, speaking from Caleb's bedside at the Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.

"He has complete memory of what happened and he talks about it - even the finer details."

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The relief was evident for Caleb's parents who have now started down the long road of physiotherapy recovery.

Mr Gundy said the first time Caleb's cheeky grin spread across his face, he knew they had the strength to get through the next four months of therapy.

"It's a big relief to see that he is back to his usual ways," he said.

"He's talking and smiling and that's the good thing about it because when you see him, he's so much better than when he first went in.

"It was so hard to see him in intensive care when he was there.

"Now he's in a ward and is doing really well."

He still asks his dad to bring a copy of The Chronicle to the Brisbane hospital when he visits every Friday.

Mr Gundy said Caleb, who can be "hard-headed" at times especially during physiotherapy sessions, had been hailed a success story by the hospital.

Caleb's leg muscles were severely weakened while he was in the coma for an extended period of time.

"The body fat in his legs is gone so it's going to take a fair while to learn to walk again and they (doctors) want to keep him there to get him back on his feet," Mr Gundy said.

"The doctors are saying he is one of the big successes they have had with his surgeries and everything," he said.

"We were told a few weeks ago that it was the Millmerran Hospital that put him in an induced coma which saved his life.

"The doctors said that if that hadn't happened, he wouldn't have made it.

"We're really grateful to them (Millmerran Hospital), the ambulance staff and CareFlight who got him here.

"I call them, all of them, our angels and they are just wonderful."

Caleb now faces daily therapy sessions for the next three to four months, learning how to do basic things such as sitting and walking on his own.

Mr Gundy said even when Caleb returned to his Millmerran home, he would need a walking frame.

Topics:  caleb gundy editors picks lady cilento childrens hospital



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