A Sydney father has suffered severe injuries after trying to save his son from falling from a four-metre balcony.
Brad Lewis, 42, was playing with his little boy, Oscar, and his Nerf gun at a friend’s home in Sydney earlier this month, according to a GoFundMe page.
Oscar fired a few plastic bullets at his father but they missed and went over the first-floor balcony, according to a friend of the family Annie Kendall.
The little boy chased after the bullets but lost his balance over the railing and began to tumble.
“Brad was close enough to see what was happening, lunged at Oscar and managed to grab him, but with Brad’s speed and weight headed in Oscar’s direction in the hope of saving him, they both ended up going over the balcony,” Ms Kendall wrote.
“During the fall, Brad recalls that he made sure he pinned Oscar to his chest and curled around him so that he could take the brunt of the impact – not Oscar.”
The father and his son plummeted from the balcony and hit the concrete driveway.
Mr Lewis turned to his friend Beau Worthington, who was the first to come to his aide, and asked, “Are the kids OK?”, News Corp reported.
“Don’t let them see me like this,” he said.“Don’t let me die, mate.”
Oscar suffered concussion, a skull fracture and bruising on the brain, but he has since been released from hospital.
However, his hero dad is much worse off, taking “the full impact on his head.”
“He sustained major head and neck injuries, cracking open his skull, bruising the brain, fracturing the C6 vertebrae, among a number of other head and body injuries,” Ms Kendall wrote.
“Doctors have expressed their astonishment that Brad is in fact still alive having sustained the injuries that he did.”
Mr Lewis, a former army officer, is facing six to 12 months of recovery.
His wife, Suz, has also taken time off work to care for the family but there are concerns about mounting costs once the 42-year-old returns home.
The father has since been removed from ICU and the family are hoping he will get 45 staples removed from his head next week.
“Oscar is recovering slowly with a fractured skull. He will not leave his mother’s side and now sleeps with 6 pillows around him from fear of falling out of bed,” Ms Kendall wrote.
“While the family are still trying to come to terms with what happened, they are so incredibly grateful for the out pouring of support from their family, friends and the wider community – many of you they don’t even know.”