Boy’s second chance after freak mower accident
AS MADDOX Porter's mum Shelley watches her energetic son play cricket and ride his bike, she can barely believe how far her little boy has come in 18 months.
The brave eight-year-old has proved to be the definition of resilient, having undergone more than a dozen surgeries since a devastating hand injury on Easter Sunday in 2018.
While on a ride-on lawn mower with his mum and little brother Ashton, now 5, the then six-year-old Maddox slipped, with his left hand mangled in the mower blades in the freak accident.
"I picked him up and just started screaming," Ms Porter said. "The neighbours and my husband swung into action, and before we knew it the paramedics were here. As soon as they saw his injuries they knew he needed to be at the hospital really quickly."
Maddox was airlifted to the Queensland Children's Hospital via an RACQ LifeFlight from the family's Gatton property, where he underwent an all-night marathon surgery to save as much of his hand as possible.
Ms Porter said while the memories of the accident were traumatic, she and husband Michael had been left in awe by the work of Maddox's remarkable team at the QCH, led by reconstructive surgeon Michael Wagels.
Dr Wagels said when Maddox arrived at the hospital, he was missing his thumb, which despite extensive efforts, could not be saved. But he has had several successful reconstructive surgeries, with Dr Wagels using part of Maddox's fibula to rebuild the top of his hand, and tendon implants likely next year.
"What is truly amazing is not this operation or that operation - it's Maddox himself and his family," he said.
"It is really someone special who can cope with all the things that Maddox has been through, and continues to go through."
They have shared Maddox's story to raise awareness of the Nine Telethon on November 16, which raises funds for the Children's Hospital Foundation.
"The foundation has been absolutely wonderful in a really bad time in our lives," Ms Porter said. "Maddox is remarkable; he is very brave.
"He has had 16 or 17 operations and unfortunately he has a lot more to go, but he goes to school, he rides bikes, he plays cricket, he plays rugby league. As Dr Wagels says to Maddox, it's your special helping hand, and we just have to find different ways of doing things."