‘Little fighter’ in miracle recovery
A YOUNG boy has woken from an induced coma and is talking to loved ones in a miracle recovery following six-hours stranded at sea after his father's fishing boat sank.
About 1.40am Sunday, his 38-year-old dad Maike Hohnen made a distress call to the Mooloolaba Coast Guard to report his 5m boat was taking on water.
He, his friend Stephen Jeacocke, 48, and seven-year-old Julian were forced into cold and dark waters off the Sunshine Coast as the boat went under. The two men tread water, clung to an Esky and buckets, while taking turns holding Julian out of the water until they were rescued about 8am Sunday.
Julian was flown to the Queensland Children's Hospital in a critical condition, suffering hypothermia.
Mr Hohnen and Mr Jeacocke were taken to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital in a stable condition.
Yesterday afternoon, the Hohnen family received the miracle they had been praying for - Julian opened his eyes. In a written statement, the family said that Julian was now in a stable condition and his recovery was a "testament to his fighting spirit".
"Our son has improved significantly today and is now in a stable condition and talking to us. This is a testament to his fighting spirit," his parents said in the statement.
"We would like to thank everyone who has helped and cared for our son, including the amazing emergency services, the Sunshine Coast University Hospital and the Queensland Children's Hospital. He still requires further assessment, but his improvement today has given us hope."
A Queensland Police spokesman yesterday confirmed the boat Gilly's Hammer was still missing.
It is believed there were life jackets onboard, but none of the three were wearing one.
Dr Sonu Haikerwal said if the trio had been in the water for longer, they would have been unlikely to recover.
"Kids and the elderly are more prone to hyperthermia," she said.
"When people get hypothermia it can lead to confusion, heart problems, brain damage," she said.