Family prays for young burns victim's recovery
ALLAN Gundy's two bandaged hands with second-degree burns are nothing compared to the trauma of seeing his youngest son on fire.
The Millmerran father has recalled the exact moment nine-year-old Caleb Gundy raced toward the house, screaming he was on fire.
Caleb had slipped from his parents' watchful eye for less than five minutes, finding his way to a covered smouldering drum in the backyard about 4pm Sunday when the tragedy unfolded.
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"He came through the front door and his pyjama top was on fire," Mr Gundy said.
"I went down and grabbed him and got him on the grass, but even rolling him around on the grass wasn't putting out the fire.
"It was all over his back, his front and his left arm.
"My instinct was to try and get the shirt off, but I just couldn't."
Mr Gundy yelled to his other son Zac Gundy to fetch some bottled water from inside the house, which runs on tank water.
"He (Zac) ran inside and got the bottle of water and tipped it over him," Mr Gundy said.
"Jodie (mother) was still on the phone with the ambulance but even after Zac doused him with the water, the shirt was still smouldering."
Caleb's older brother Nathan then picked him up and raced upstairs, placing the burned child in the shower waiting for paramedics to arrive.
"It wasn't until then that I could see all the burn marks," Mr Gundy said.
"His stomach and waist, all his left arm and on his back and part of his face and lips.
"They (paramedics) said he was a tough boy and he actually got up and walked out of the bathroom to the ambulance, even though they had the stretcher there for him."
Caleb was sedated at the Millmerran Hospital before being airlifted to Brisbane where he has been in an induced coma ever since.
Caleb has undergone two surgeries at the Brisbane hospital and is facing two operations each week for the next two months.
"The first night he got down there, he had an operation on his stomach and because it was burnt so badly, they had to cut him open to relieve the pressure," Mr Gundy said.
"Then he had a seven-hour graft operation on Tuesday.
"They're still monitoring him and he'll be there in a while.
"Doctors say he'll need two operations a week for the next five to seven weeks."
Mr Gundy has thanked the quick response of emergency services that came to Caleb's rescue.
"They were really good - thank God for them," he said.
"They do a great job, the ambulance blokes.
"I'd like to commend the CareFlight mob for being there so quick and doing a good job.
"Also the Millmerran Hospital - they did a great job just as the Toowoomba Hospital did with me."
Mr Gundy will travel to see his son today for the second time since the incident, and it won't be his last trip to Brisbane.
"He's in for the long haul," he said.
"We're just going to take it day by day because anything can happen."
Mr Gundy has remained in Millmerran with his other children Ruby-Rose, 3, Zac, 16, Rhianna, 17, Nathan, 20 and AJ, 24.
Caleb's mother Jodie and sister Rachael, 14, have maintained a bedside vigil by the boy.