A family’s heartbreak

THE parents of bashing victim Sam Ford have seen their son’s green eyes flicker open for the first time in a month.

The 18-year-old remains in a coma at the Gold Coast Hospital but brave mum Margaret Ford said any small signs are good.

“He’s been doing little things like opening his eyes.

“Anything he does is a positive, little baby step.”

The Cabarita teenager received severe head injuries on October 10 in Coolangatta when he was punched numerous times in the face.

An 18-year-old Banora Point man has been charged with grievous bodily harm, and assault causing grievous bodily harm following the incident.

Saturday marked four weeks since Sam was bashed and Mrs Ford said her son is still in a critical condition.

“They’re trying to bring him out of the induced coma but he’s not coming out.

“We’re just hoping and praying.

“It’s just a waiting game, hoping he’ll come through soon.”

The family supplied the Tweed Daily News with photos of Sam in hospital. Mrs Ford said she knew the images were confronting but she did not want people to give up praying for her son.

“Maybe if they can see him like this they will realise how critical he still is.”

Mrs Ford and her husband Michael have been unwavering in their bedside vigil, along with Sam’s friends.

“We’re still spending a lot of time at the hospital,” she said.

“All his friends are visiting and talking to him; willing him to come home.”

The extent of Sam’s injuries will not be known for quite a while, Mrs Ford said.

“The doctors are saying that he’s going to have a really long road ahead of him; 18 months rehabilitation,” she said.

“With brain injuries, until he comes out of the coma we don’t know the extent of his injuries.

“We’re not going to know until months and months down the track.”

Sam, one of Cabarita Boardriders’ top juniors, was finishing a building apprenticeship with Hutchinson Builders in Tweed Heads.

“We all work for Hutchinson Builders, they’ve all been absolutely fantastic,” Mrs Ford said.

“Hopefully he’ll be able to come back and continue his apprenticeship.”

Sam’s family has been comforted by the support they have received not only from the Cabarita community but the whole Tweed Coast.

“We’re just overwhelmed by the Tweed Coast community pulling together and helping us,” Mrs Ford said.

“The whole community has been absolutely amazing.

“Our heartfelt thanks go out to everybody who has been supporting us.”

The Fords have lived in the area since 1980 and have had a huge community involvement through surfing, surf life saving, football, schools and other community groups.

The Cabarita Boardriders, which includes Sam’s younger brother Joel, won the Kirra Surfstock Teams Challenge on Saturday, and dedicated their win to their missing team member. The trophy was sent to the hospital.

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