Heroic: Cabarita’s Sam Ford, 19, is taking small steps towards recovery in the Gold Coast Hospital.
Heroic: Cabarita’s Sam Ford, 19, is taking small steps towards recovery in the Gold Coast Hospital. Supplied

Working his way back

THIS time last year Sam Ford was one of the Tweed's most promising surfers.

Now he is struggling to walk on his own, but the 19-year-old is still a hero in the eyes of his dedicated family and friends.

The Cabarita teenager has spent the past nine months in Gold Coast Hospital recovering from brain injuries he received during an alleged fight in Coolangatta.

“Sam has taken his first assisted steps,” proud mum Margaret Ford said.

“He does need two or three physios holding him, as he has no balance.” Mrs Ford said Sam is lifting his left foot himself but needs a physio to lift his right foot and then he can move it forward.

“These are little tiny baby steps that will turn into giant steps,” she said.

“It is a slow process but a positive step forward.”

Due to the extent of his injuries, Sam will require life-long rehabilitation.

“My husband Mike has taken the past month off work to be by Sam's side every day and encourage him with his physio,” Mrs Ford said.

“At last we are rid of the hoist for transfers in and out of bed.

“Sam is now doing stand transfers.”

She said this means Sam is weight-bearing on his legs with two nurses holding him up, pivoting and sitting on the edge of the bed.

“Congratulations our beautiful boy, you are our hero.”

The latest attack in the border town, dubbed “Coolanghetto” by residents, was on world champion surfer Dean Morrison.

The current ASP World Number 37 was allegedly punched in the head early Sunday morning after a night out with mates.

The surfing community has been in uproar since the incident, especially as Sam was a member of the Cabarita Boardriders.

“Sam Ford was one of Tweed Heads' most promising surfers,” Tweed Daily News surf columnist Andrew McKinnon said.

“This has got to stop. I want to see a joint-task force formed by the New South Wales and Queensland police ministers to address the issue.

An online support page for Sam has more than 1100 members.

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