Strong support: Sam Ford (right) enjoyed a few hours at That Fest in Cabarita with (from back) Candy Henry, cousin Bridget Platt, brother Joel and Tyler O’Neill.
Strong support: Sam Ford (right) enjoyed a few hours at That Fest in Cabarita with (from back) Candy Henry, cousin Bridget Platt, brother Joel and Tyler O’Neill. Supplied

Sam's special Christmas gift

NINE days at home was the precious Christmas gift Sam Ford and his family enjoyed over the holiday period.

The 19-year-old Cabarita surfer remains in hospital recovering from brain injuries he received during an altercation in Coolangatta 15 months ago.

“Christmas was good,” Sam’s mother, Margaret, said. “He was home for nine days all up; four over Christmas and five over New Year.”

His home visits are made possible thanks to generous donations from businesses and the community which helped the Ford family make alterations to their home.

“Sam being able to come home permanently is not on the cards right now, but we are now able to bring him home for overnight stays on the weekend,” Mrs Ford said.

“The lift has been installed, alterations to the home for wheelchair access are almost complete. Thanks to the help of Hutchinson Builders, those companies that donated their services or products and the local community we now have a rehab workout area for weekend sessions and for when Sam finally comes home permanently.

“Thank you to the whole community for your help; we are so proud to be part of this wonderful community.”

Sam made the move to the Murwillumbah District Hospital rehabilitation unit three months ago after a year in the Gold Coast Hospital.

“Yes; over 15 months our gorgeous boy has spent living in hospital, and as most people would realise 15 months in hospital is like a lifetime to a 19-year-old,” Mrs Ford said.

“But I think subconsciously being back on the Tweed and the awesome outlook and serenity of the hospital, Sam has felt more at ease, especially as we have so many friends that work at the hospital.

“The staff and other patients have embraced him and make him feel a part of the family.”

Mrs Ford said having Sam back in NSW made life easier for everyone, especially when dealing with government departments.

“Sam was born in the Murwillumbah Hospital, so for us it was like coming home, and the time spent travelling to the hospital after work is cut considerably. No traffic lights makes you appreciate the Tweed even more.

“Sam is still making improvements. The doctors have always told us it will be a long slow road to recovery, a marathon not a sprint.”



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