Tyson goes to the dance
By HELEN JACK
TYSON ALCORN was shy at first, but it only took minutes of being reunited with his mates for his smile to start beaming and his eyes to sparkle.
The occasion was Kyogle High School's Year 12 formal and Tyson was worried all year he would not make it.
Ten months ago, Tyson was riding a trail bike at Toonumbar Dam when he crashed, breaking his neck and leaving him a quadriplegic.
Since then, Tyson has been a patient in the spinal unit of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
Tyson's father, Russell, said his son had asked hospital staff on Tuesday if he could return home for the event.
"He was very excited and nervous at the same time," Russell said. "It was the first time many people would have seen him in a wheelchair, so he was a little nervous."
But acceptance, friendship and love is all that Tyson was ever going to experience from the people of Kyogle.
Throughout the year friends, family and locals have worked hard to raise $100,000 so the Alcorn family home can be refurbished and Tyson's needs met when he returns home.
When Tyson's transport was seen approaching the Kyogle Bowling Club, where the school formal was held, school mates quickly gathered around him, touching him fondly on his shoulders, kissing his cheeks and whispering their love.
Tyson said he was overwhelmed by the occasion.
"I just wanted to see everyone," he said. "I'm having a good time. I came home this morning and then went to Kyogle Hospital for a sleep before getting ready.
"I'm going to have fun and be here as long as possible."
Cousin Ryan Daley said it was 'awesome to see him back in Kyogle'.
"He has been so excited knowing he was coming home for the formal," Ryan said. "He is not normally shy, but he will come out later as he gets more confident."
Ryan said Tyson's schoolmates had taken it in turns to drive to Brisbane every weekend to visit him in hospital.
"It wasn't hard to organise because everyone wanted to see him," he said.