PLAINLAND teenager Tarryn Bowers gave his family and friends a remarkable boost when he awoke from a three-day coma after being knocked out while playing Aussie rules for the Lockyer Valley Demons.
The 19-year-old collapsed and suffered cardiac arrest after sustaining a head knock while playing against the Goondiwindi Hawks in Pittsworth on Sunday.
Quick-thinking trainers and officials performed first aid and CPR and he was airlifted by rescue helicopter to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane where he was placed in an induced coma in the intensive care unit.
His father Tony Bowers said yesterday he was delighted his son was now on the way to recovery.
"I'm very pleased to say that Tarryn has now woken from his coma and is in a stable condition," Mr Bowers said.
"He is responsive and reactive and, all going well, will leave the intensive care unit shortly.
"We are awaiting further tests, though doctors have advised that Tarryn will require a pacemaker to be fitted to him.
"He is in remarkably good spirits and is being supported by family, friends, teammates and other members of the AFL and Darling Downs football community."
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Mr Bowers thanked everyone who has played a part in his son's recovery along with the many well-wishers who had sent messages of support."
Mr Bowers said that care started from the moment Tarryn was injured on the field.
"Tarryn received extraordinary care and treatment on the day," Mr Bowers said.
"Both clubs immediately came together, with trainers and officials from Lockyer Valley and Goondiwindi uniting to provide the vital first aid and CPR that saved our son's life.
"These initial efforts are what made the difference and we will be forever grateful to those who stepped up, stayed calm and used their training to save a young life."
Mr Bowers also thanked the ambulance service and PA Hospital and staff.
He said the incident in which his son was injured would now be referred to AFL Queensland, which would conduct an independent investigation.
" I will leave that to them but would simply add that our thoughts have also been with the players involved, who no doubt have been distressed and concerned about what happened," Mr Bowers said.
"Our primary focus at present is on the health and wellbeing of our son and while we are very optimistic about Tarryn's recovery, we expect that it will take some time.
"We have all had quite a scare and Tarryn needs to be given the time and space to make a full recovery."