Dream Family Holiday Ends In Tragedy For Toddler

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Accidents happen in a split second, especially when it comes to toddlers.

As a parent, you can’t always be right there at that very spot and instant and just one look away for literally a second – like to pick up the phone, or answer the door and suddenly your toddler is in trouble.

This is what happened when a Queensland family were on the road on a year-long RV/caravan trip across Australia. The family had left their home in Rockhampton just after Christmas, embarking on a 12-month road trip to Tasmania.

Suddenly, their child, 17-month-old Hunter Hall pulled open the caravan’s oven door, knocking over a kettle on a hot plate. Hunter Hall suffered severe burns up to 12 percent of his body.

Hall said that she immediately ripped off Hunter’s T-shirt and yelled for her husband Mick to help apply cold water to the boy’s body.

He suffered burns on his chest and left foot. His right leg was badly scolded so the family rushed him to hospital about 22km away.

This will affect his whole life,” Hunter’s mom said.

He learned to walk three or four steps three days before the accident. Before the accident, he spoke all the basic words… but now all he could do is grunt,” Hall told 7 News Online.

The little boy has been in hospital for 4 weeks. “For the first four weeks, if a nurse walked into a room he would start screaming,” she said.

Nurses can now take observations every 6 hours without too much fuss, however, Hunter’s blood pressure remains high and he is still not talking.

Just recently, Hunter returned to eating and drinking normally, without the need of a drip.

The toddler has since undergone four skin grafts to his, head, chest, right leg and foot, and the sole of his left foot. He also has lotion applied 8 times a day and regular physio to stretch the body and minimize scarring.

Hunter will need ongoing treatment until he stops growing – until about the age of about 18 or 19, however, the family is hopeful he will eventually be able to walk properly and live a normal life.

“We just have to get him to talk again,” she said.

Everyone in the family blamed themselves for the accident, saying “I should have been there”. and the tragedy has caused the family “ups and downs”, but they are remaining positive.

We are hoping it won’t affect him too much. When he starts school he might be bullied – with people looking at him differently because of his leg. We just need to be positive and [teach him] that he’s no different.

“We’re confident Hunter is hoping to have a normal life, as much as possible.”

 A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the family with the financial costs relating to Hunters recovery.

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