A ‘fishing nut’ young man who worked as a deck hand on Australian trawlers is battling for recovery after a horrendous car crash left him with horrific injuries.
After working on boats out of Hervey Bay in south-east Queensland, Brodie Riley, 20, recently decided to work on the land and got a job on a cattle station in Moranbah.
He loved his new job but on Sunday, August 14, disaster struck when he and two mates were travelling back to the station for work on Monday morning.
Their car hit a patch of gravel on the road, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, which then rolled.
Brodie was found 50 metres from the wreck, suffering from massive injuries including to his brain, lungs and multiple broken bones, and had to be airlifted to hospital.
‘He’s definitely a fighter, that’s for sure,’ his mum Cassie told Daily Mail Australia.
Brodie Riley (pictured) and his two mates were travelling back to a station for work when their car hit a patch of gravel and rolled. Brodie was very seriously injured in the crash
Three young women in a car behind his stayed by his side until he was taken from the accident site to Townsville University Hospital.
The injuries to Brodie’s brain and spleen, along with multiple fractures and lacerations, were so severe that he was put in an induced coma and taken in for emergency surgery.
‘From what I have been told, he does have a brain injury. We don’t know the extent till he wakes fully from the coma and they can assess it,’ said Ms Riley.
‘He is on the road to recovery, that’s for sure. He is still sedated and is not fully awake at this stage. He’s getting there, very slowly.’
With costs to Cassie – who also has three other children to take care of – building up, her sister Dallys Riley has set up a GoFundMe site to help the family.
The page shows pictures of Brodie in his hospital bed, but also reminders of him doing what he loved most, fishing.
‘Everyone who knows Brodie knows how much of a fishing nut he is,’ said his aunt Dallys. ‘It’s safe to say fishing is in his blood.’
Cassie and her children now live in Dysart, which is six hours away from Brodie in Townsville University Hospital.
After initially being at Brodie’s side in Townsville, Cassie has now returned home to take care of her other children, two girls and a boy aged 14, 13 and five.
Brodie Riley is pictured unconscious and hooked up to tubes in Townsville University Hospital
‘I’m doing OK, considering the circumstances. I’ve got to keep myself strong for the other three children,’ she said.
Brodie is not alone, though, Cassie’s mum, dad, auntie and brother are with at the hospital with him.
She will get back to Townsville on September 1 and is taking the other children with her.
‘They had their little struggle for the first few days but they’re keeping their mind occupied with school and stuff, so they’re doing OK.’
Cassie said the driver of the car Brodie was in sustained two fractures in the vertebrae and the other passenger had a head injury as well as a broken wrist.
Brodie (pictured) suffered horrific injuries in a car crash in north Queensland on August 14
‘Costs are adding up quickly with her weekly rent in Dysart, weekly food bill for kids at home, accommodation in Townsville and fuel to and from the hospital,’ said Dallys about the family’s fundraising site.
All funds raised will go towards those costs and Brodie’s recovery process.
Dallys said the family is very grateful to everyone who donates to the fund, and she has been keeping people informed about Brodie’s progress on the site.
After his surgery, he has been getting physiotherapy on his legs, arms and fingers.
He also had a staph infection in his back wounds, pneumonia on his lungs and has had 20 CT scans done.
She said Brodie has been ‘pretty active’ and is able to move his left arm constantly, but his right arm is very slow to show much improvement.
Before getting a job on a station, which he loves, Brodie Riley (pictured) had worked on fishing boats
At one stage, Brodie tried to remove his tubes so he had to be restrained and sedated to reduce the risk of harming himself.
His breathing has eased. with less phlegm coming from the lungs compared to a few days before, which is ‘a huge improvement’, Dallys said.
His test samples were also sent off to a laboratory to see what antibiotics will be most effective for him, which led to him being put onto a new drug.
Given how bad the crash was, Brodie has also had x-rays to see exactly which bones he has broken.
Brodie is pictured doing what he loves most, fishing. His aunt Dallys, who has set up a fundraiser for the family, said ‘fishing is in his blood’
He already has a ‘moon boot’ on his right foot to help stabilise his ankle so the fracture can heal.
Another consequence of his injuries is that his temperature has been going up and down and has to be steadied with medication.
Brodie will be bedridden for at least six weeks and will have to undergo a lot of physio, meaning the accommodation and other costs to his mum continue to mount.
‘Brodie does have a very long road to recovery but like a true champion he is fighting every step of the way and fighting hard,’ said his aunt Dallys.