A heroic father in Australia suffered serious injuries to his skull after leaping off a 13-foot balcony to break his eight-year-old son’s fall.
Brad Lewis, 42, cracked his skull on the pavement below a first-floor balcony when he leaped to catch his son Oscar as he fell over the railing, the New York Post reported.
The father-of-two had been at a friend’s house in Sydney when his eight-year-old son shot a few Nerf gun bullets in his direction. The bullets missed, going over the first-floor balcony. When Oscar tried to follow them, he lost his balance.
Brad lunged at his son hoping to catch him, but the force of jump caused both of them to fall over the edge of the balcony, sending both of them towards the pavement.
The father, who served as a deep-sea diver and army officer, pinned his son to his chest and curled his body around him to take the brunt of the impact on the pavement.
“Are the kids OK? Don’t let them see me like this, don’t let me die mate,” Brad told a friend shortly after the fall as he went in and out of consciousness.
Oscar suffered a skull fracture, a concussion, and bruising on his brain while his father Brad suffered major neck and head injuries—fracturing his C6 vertebrae, cracking his skull open, and bruising his brain.
Paramedics treated both father and son at the scene and flew Brad to the hospital in serious condition, the Daily Mail reported.
Doctors expect it will be six to 12 months before Brad fully recovers from his injuries, and he has been transferred from the intensive care unit to the head trauma department.
Oscar has since been released from the hospital, but is in shock and slowly recovering at home. A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for Brad’s medical expenses raised $67,810 out of its $150,000 goal.
“He will not leave his mother’s side and now sleeps with six pillows around him from fear of falling out of bed,” family friend Annie Kendall wrote on the GoFundMe page.