An Albion Park boy is recovering after a freak gardening accident left him impaled on his backyard hedge, the offending branch piercing to within millimetres of his vital organs.
Tim Bloomfield was helping his mum Trish Bloomfield trim bushes in their Samuel Circuit backyard Sunday afternoon when he fell from where he had been sitting on a fence.
Mother and son suddenly found themselves in a dire emergency, even if 13-year-old Tim didn't yet realise how serious his situation was.
"He was pretty calm - he just wanted to get out of there," Ms Bloomfield said. "He said, 'I'll be right if you just move me out'.
"I was like, 'how about you stay there for a little while'.
"I think it was good there were a lot of trees there and he couldn't quite see what he'd done. But I could."
The branch had pierced Tim's skin and went through his upper stomach, stopping just short of his liver.
He remained suspended in mid-air as his mother was able to quickly reach him and take the weight of his body, stopping the branch from piercing any further as she yelled out for her daughter to call for an ambulance.
"Meanwhile, I could just stay with him and keep him up so he didn't move or fall. He didn't quite make the ground, so I grabbed a few stools and things to stand under him to stop him moving. That's what stopped him moving down further onto it [the branch]," she said.
"I had to try and keep calm and keep him calm so he didn't move."
Doctors later told the family the branch had come within two milimetres of Tim's liver and that he was "exceptionally lucky" it had missed all his vital organs.
The St Josephs Catholic High School student told the Mercury he felt little pain during his ordeal.
"I didn't really feel anything," he said. " "When it happened I thought I'd just scratched myself. I knew it was serious when mum told my sister to call the ambulance."
"I saw it [the wound] and it was pretty cool."
Multiple emergency services attended, including a special operations paramedic, who used a fine-tooth saw to gently cut away the branch.
Tim was flown to The Children's Hospital in Randwick in a stable condition, with the branch still lodged in his upper stomach.
He underwent surgery that night and will continue his recovery from home after being discharged on Tuesday evening.
Attending NSW Ambulance paramedic Terry Morrow said the injured teen needed a surgeon's attention in part to guard against the risk of infection.
"The sap and sawdust from trees can be quite toxic to the body and these wounds need to be cleaned out very vigilantly or you get quite serious infections," Insp Morrow said.
"I'm really pleased that he's home and he's recovering and I'm really pleased that it didn't do any more damage than it did."
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