Renay Signorini, 28, Chinchilla, Qld
They’re such petrol heads!’ I laughed to my friend Laura, 27. My partner Rick, 31, was motoring up and down the hill in his four-wheel drive with my twin boys, Tyson and Mason, seven, and our girl Pippa, 18 months.
No! My boy was dead. I was sure of it.
One day into an adventure holiday at a specially-designed 4WD track, the boys were having one last spin. So Laura and I parked nearby, watching them.
All of a sudden, I saw Rick’s car grind to a halt halfway up the hill. It must be stuck, I thought. The back doors suddenly opened and Tyson and Mason jumped out. But the car was still revving and they looked dangerously close.
‘What are you doing?’ I cried out.
Then I saw something horrifying. Losing traction, the tyres made an almighty noise and the car started to slide backwards. Running towards my boys, I realised it was too late. Mason scrambled out of the way but within seconds Tyson disappeared under the wheel of the 4WD.
My baby! Racing to the front of the car, I found Tyson lying on the ground with black tyre marks across his back. No! My boy was dead. I was sure of it.
‘Can I get up?’ he squeaked, opening his eyes. Relief flooded through me, but he still looked badly injured.
‘No baby, stay still,’ I soothed.
We were in the wilderness and only reachable by rough tracks. What were we going to do? Rick was beside himself but it wasn’t his fault. I soon discovered that when the 4WD became stuck, the boys had got out to lighten the load.
Three men who happened to be nurses came rushing over to help. They used a panel from a ute as a stretcher and worked on Tyson from their first-aid kit. Then we carefully drove to camp before being met by paramedics en route. From there, we were flown to hospital by helicopter.
Once in hospital, the extent of his injuries became clear.
Tyson was incredibly brave. Once in hospital, the extent of his injuries became clear.
Horrifyingly, he’d been de-gloved, meaning he’d lost all the soft tissue from his left forearm. Surgeons had to painstakingly graft skin from his thighs to reconstruct what he’d lost.
He also had a broken shoulder, ribs and pelvis and nerve damage. Although my heart broke, I knew it was a miracle he’d survived.
Nearly three months on, Tyson is still getting over his injuries. After everything we’ve been through, I want to warn other parents to be careful if your car gets stuck.
We learnt our lesson the hard way, but thankfully Tyson is still with us to tell the tale.