Man 'may never walk again' after Christmas crash
WHILE most families across Rockhampton prepared for the festive season in the lead-up to Christmas, the Callaghan clan were learning one of their own may never walk again.
Debra Callaghan, who had just finished her last round of radiotherapy for stage three breast cancer, learned her youngest son Clarence Callaghan had been seriously injured after driving head-on into a power pole on December 19.
He had fallen asleep at the wheel.
After racing to the hospital, Debra learned Clarence had serious spinal injuries and would be transferred to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
It would later be revealed the 31-year-old had also sustained seven fractured ribs, a fractured sternum and a torn liver.
"When I got to the hospital and I was told what was going on, I was so devastated," Debra said yesterday.
"I was in shock... he is my baby.
"They wouldn't guarantee that he will never walk again, and they still won't. They don't think he will, but he amazes us everyday.
"But this just goes to show, and every one needs to know, this is why you shouldn't drive when you're tired."
Debra said Clarence was determined to walk again and had slowly regained minimal movement and feeling in his left leg.
He will soon be moved to the spinal rehabilitation unit, but it's a long, hard road ahead.
Making the day's events all the more tragic, Clarence had secured a new job as a hire car driver just two days before the accident, after struggling to find work for the past 12 months.
Debra and her husband, who is also extremely ill, are pensioners with little expendable income.
"They said it could take six months for rehabilitation," she said.
"My husband is a very sick man, and he's very upset about his boy.
"I don't know how we'll do it, it will be a struggle.
"I've had to toughen up a bit."
Fundraising efforts have been set up to help Debra, Clarence and the Callaghan family through the hardest year of their lives.
Those wishing to help out are asked to contact Debra directly on 0438027872.