Willowmavin teenager Harvey McKeever will need all his strength to recover from a dirt bike accident at his home last month, but a huge support network has already set about providing assistance.
Harvey, 15 at the time of the accident but has since turned 16 in hospital, was riding his motorbike on his family’s property – when he hit a log and flipped the bike on February 4.
Dirtbike riding is one the Broadford Secondary College year 11 student’s favourite hobbies.
His mother Renae was also outside on the property and, when she couldn’t hear his bike, rushed to his aid.
Kilmore paramedics were first on the scene, and Harvey was flown by ambulance helicopter to the Royal Children’s Hospital.
Harvey had a shattered C4 in his vertebrae, requiring surgery where bone was taken from his hip to fuse together the fourth cervical vertebra.
He was placed in an induced coma and is now in intensive care, conscious but on a ventilator – the C4 affects nerves in the diaphragm, which means he needs assistance with breathing.
Harvey’s aunty Niree Weybury is now in charge of fundraising to set up the family home for her nephew’s return.
She said while Harvey does not have spinal chord damage, his prognosis was unclear.
“Everthing is still swollen but he is making small progress,” she said.
“He’s in good spirits – he said ‘I’m fighting this and I’m going to get better’.
“Harvey is such as determined kid – he will [get better]. We’re just crossing everything that he recovers fully.”
Ms Weybury said Harvey’s family, including parents Renae and Brad and sister Seren, have been overwhelmed with support since the accident.
“It’s been very overwelming – people have been so generous with dropping off meals and people from across Australia are sending flowers and cards with well wishes,” she said.
She also particularly thanked Kilmore paramedics who initially cared for Harvey.
“They keep checking in on how Harvey is,” she said.
Ms Weybury kicked off the fundraising campaign by selling stubby holders with a photograph and the words ‘Helping Harvey’ for $10 each.
She was blown away at the response, having to already triple her original order of 100.
“My husband Phil is going to ride the Great Victorian Rail Trail, from Mansfield to Tallarook on May 1 and raise money for Harvey that way,” she said.
“He has ridden it before but never in one day – it’s 134 kilometres, so he’s asking people for $1 a kilometre.
“Phil and Harvey do a lot of mountain bike riding together so he thought this would be a good way to fundraise.”
Oaklands Pony Club is also hosting a Freshman’s Show Jumping Day on April 10, with a raffle and sausage sizzle to fundraise money for Harvey’s recovery.
Ms Weybury and her mother have also set up a bank account as a trust for Harvey, where people can donate directly.
The bank details are: BSB: 633 000; account number 181 591 595.
“Any money left over or if we don’t need as much as we receive, will be donated to Ronald McDonald House, where Renae and Brad are staying and they have just been wonderful,” Ms Weybury said. For more information or to help fundraise, people can contact Ms Weybury via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.