Town rallies for injured teen on road to recovery
WHEN footy-loving teen Bruklan Marshall jumped into his ute on the afternoon of April 13 he had no reason to think he'd be in danger.
It was a day like any other. He was heading to training with the Fassifern Bombers, a team he lived for.
But that drive changed his life forever.
Bruklan, known as BJ or Brock to his friends, was involved in a horrific crash when his ute collided with a truck on Warrill View Peak Crossing Rd at 5.50pm.
His ute was torn in half and Bruklan's injuries were so severe, he almost died.
The 19-year-old was airlifted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital where surgeons worked to save his life.
They did. But they couldn't save his arm, which had to be amputated.
The Peak Crossing local was placed in a coma and his close-knit community was left in shock.
A little more than a week after the crash Bruklan was taken out of the coma and started breathing on his own.
It was a great step forward but marked the start of a very long road to recovery.
Since the accident Bruklan has been recovering at the PA, getting strong and slowly going through rehabilitation.
A visit from the Brisbane Broncos helped spur him on and the former Fassifern Bombers player was recently allowed to go home after almost 80 days in hospital.
Bruklan hasn't had a chance to thank all those who have supported him so far.
Later this month he will.
The teen will attend Rock for Brock at Peak Pub.
The fundraiser is being organised by one of his close friends, Lily Williams.
When she started at Boonah State High School, Lily was nervous.
She didn't know many people until one day on the school bus when Bruklan Marshall, a boy a few grades above her, started a conversation and offered to help her with whatever she needed.
As one of Bruklan's closest friends, Lily says that act just about sums him up.
"We quickly formed a close friendship and ever since then we were known as brother and sister," she said.
"Whenever I was sad he'd bring food over and he calls my mother 'mum'."
Bruklan's confident, friendly personality means he makes friends easily and the wider Peak Crossing community was left in absolute shock after the horrific accident which saw him hospitalised for more than 10 weeks.
Like many of friends, Lily has been helping to raise funds for his recovery.
Earlier this year she dropped a donation tin off at the local pub and the owners offered to help in any other ways they could.
After making a few calls the idea for the Rock for Brock fundraiser was born.
"He has another 18 months of rehab at least and the family's fundraising goal was $100,000," Lily said.
"So far they have raised about $11,000 on the online page and $5,000 through sausage sizzles and that kind of thing but he needs a prosthetic arm and much more rehab, which can be expensive."
Word quickly spread around the local community after the horror crash.
The first thing Lily was told was that Bruklan hadn't survived.
"I dropped to the ground and had a panic attack, I was a mess," she said.
"I then got told later that night he was alive and stable and that he'd probably lose his arm."
She said over the last few months Bruklan's determination had been inspiring.
"The Brock I knew before the accident was gone, that kind of thing changes you, but I couldn't be any prouder of him now," he said.
"He is one of the most stubborn people I know, and that's working in his favour. He's so confident and that's what has gotten him through.
"He said he can't be thankful enough for being alive and he's going to do what he needs to do to make it count now."
The Rock for Brock fundraiser will be held at Peak Pub on July 22 from 3pm until late.
Those who attend are asked to wear pink, the same colour as Bruklan's formal tie and the colour of the armband worn by friends while he was in hospital.
"There will also be face painting and lucky dips for the kids as well as plenty of live entertainment performed by local artists on offer. All money raised will go straight to Brock's cause," Lily said.
"There will also be an adults tug of war and a thong throwing competition. Come down and support Brock on his road to recovery."
Organisers are asking for a $5 donation a person on entry with those who donate getting a ticket in the lucky door prize.
Entertainment will start at 4.30pm with a variety of local artists including JW Longhorn, Taleena Peck and River Movement.
Raffle tickets will also be on sale at the Peak Pub from July 15 until 5.30pm on the evening of the event.
Phone 0413 599 092 or visit the Rock for Brock Facebook page for more information.