‘It was a freak accident with no rhyme or reason’
NECK injury victim Alexander Clark smiled, whacked dad in the face with his arm and father Paul could not have been prouder.
It has been moments of progress like that wrapped in a schoolboy sense of humour that have enlivened everyone backing his recovery from a traumatic spinal cord injury.
Alexander, 15, will watch tonight's Wallabies Test on TV in hospital with mates from the Nudgee College community who have rallied around him.
The young rugby winger's life changed in an instant on August 4 when he was tackled when diving to score a try in a 15Bs match.
"It was a freak accident with no rhyme or reason and there's no anger for anyone," Paul said from his office base in Lae in Papua New Guinea.
"The support from mates and from his school has been wonderful and it truly is one of the big motivating factors in his rehabilitation and therapy.
"I asked him to show me what movement he had in his arms two weeks ago...and he whacked me in the face for one of his practical jokes.
"He's got a long way to go and we all pray he walks again but no one knows right now.
"In my mind, in his mum's and in his, he's going to get there because he does have a mental attitude way beyond his years that we are so proud of."
Alexander still has little movement in his fingers but can eat a meal on his own.
His arm strength helps when being hoisted into his wheelchair at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
The Nudgee College Rugby Support Group has started a bumper fundraising raffle with a $22,990 Hyundai car as the top prize donated by Zupps Aspley and Hyundai.
All proceeds from the fundraising, through www.rafflelink.com.au/ncrugby2018, will go to the Clark family to support Alexander in his recovery.
Already, thousands of $5 tickets have been sold ahead of the raffle being drawn after the Nudgee College-The Southport School match at the school on Saturday week.
First XV captains Harry Vella (Nudgee) and Tom Van der Schyff (TSS) visited Alexander in hospital on Thursday.
Last month, in a mass show of support for the injured teen, 1500 Nudgee students gathered on Ross Oval to form the shape of a heart around the words "Be Strong Alex".