MEDICALLY there is no logical explanation for Tony Callan to be alive.

His ultralight dropped 100 metres from the sky, travelling at an estimated 180kmh, before it crashed into the ocean at Noosa on March 29.

The plume from the crash rose 70 metres into the air and could be seen from a hotel 2km away.

None of the witnesses thought he had survived the impact.

MIRACLE MAN: Tony Callan with his wife Suzanne recuperates in the comfort of his home after a serious crash in his ultra light that nearly claimed his life.
MIRACLE MAN: Tony Callan with his wife Suzanne recuperates in the comfort of his home after a serious crash in his ultra light that nearly claimed his life. john mccutcheon

This was the beginning of a remarkable story of survival, hope, love and faith, which Tony was able to share from his Peregian Springs home yesterday.

Tony's survival hasn't only astounded his friends and family, it has baffled the medical profession, with doctors telling him it's a miracle.

The 57-year-old doesn't remember the day of the crash, his wife, Suzanne, filled in the details.

Tony's seatbelt somehow came undone during the nosedive. If it hadn't, he would have been trapped as the ultralight sank.

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His jacket filled with enough air to keep him buoyant and he was unconscious, but landed face up, allowing him to breathe.

Tony was flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital's ICU's where doctors told Suzanne he had "multiple life-threatening injuries and the next 48 hours will be critical".

His hospital discharge papers tell the full story.

He had several severe head injuries, a sternal body fracture, rib fractures, right fibula, right ankle and a full pelvic fracture, spinal injury and the main artery in his body had been torn, among others.

He could have bled out on the beach.

 

 

Tony survived the first 48 hours, but the next two weeks were touch-and-go.

On April 15, Suzanne and the couple's two sons, Josh and Jesse, received more bad news.

"They said if Tony didn't wake up in the next few days he would remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life and would have to be in a nursing home. They would also start to withdraw treatment."

Two days later, Tony's eyes "focused" for the first time.

He would spend six weeks in the Royal Brisbane and seven weeks in the Princess Alexandra's brain injury rehabilitation unit before being allowed to go home.

Now he is man determined to make the most of his second chance, starting with his wife of 29 years.

"I want to help make Suzanne happy," he said.

The self-confessed fitness fanatic is also struggling to take it slow for his body to recover from its extensive injuries.

"They say it will take 18 months to recover," Suzanne said.

While Tony is open-minded to getting an ultra light again, Suzanne is definitely not keen on the idea.

Tony is grateful to the hundreds of people across Australia who prayed for him.

"To deny it was a miracle is to have disregard for medical experts' opinion," he said.

"I was so humbled that so many people who have so much in their own lives took the time out to pray for me."

Suzanne has many to thank.

"Lorna Macchia, Julian Reid, Richard Webber from the Noosa Heads Surf Lifesaving Club, the man who ran up the beach to alert them to the crash, the RACQ CareFlight pilots and doctors who worked on Tony, the University of the Sunshine Coast for helping our son, Jesse, the Royal Australian Navy, who were fantastic to our son, Josh and to the hundreds who prayed - thank you."

They will say thanks in person at the Coolum Baptist Church's "Everyday Heroes day on August 30 where they hope to meet the many people who helped save Tony's life.



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