Club comes together after tragedy

THE LAST month hasn’t been the easiest for the Maryborough Bears – but if there is one thing former club president Ross Gundry is proud of, it's the way the club has come together and supported each other after the tragic loss of one of its young players.

Rodney Walker, 21, died in a car crash last month.

Two 16-year-old Maryborough boys were taken to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital after the accident while two others were treated at Hervey Bay Hospital.

Like Rodney, three of these young people were also members of the Maryborough AFL club.

In the five weeks since the fatal accident the Fraser Coast community has generously donated time and money to help the families of those involved.

One of the boys returned home from Brisbane a few weeks ago after undergoing major surgery to his oesophagus, lungs and leg.

A rod was inserted into his femur but Mr Gundry said he was doing a lot better now.

For another of the boys, Alex Gourley, the road to recovery has been longer.

The 16-year-old injured his leg badly in the accident with amputation a real possibility at one stage.

However, he is now making a steady recovery and is expected to return home within the next week.

The club held a fund-raising day soon after the accident and some of the $3000 raised from that day will go towards making Alex’s home wheelchair-friendly until he is back on his feet again.

Mr Gundry said that with the generous support of people from around the region, some of whom have generously donated their time, ramps would soon be installed in Alex’s home, ensuring he will have no problem getting around.

“It has knocked the club around a bit,” Gundry said.

“We’ve been struggling with it all.

“Hopefully the boys will recover and Alex coming home soon is very good news.”

Mr Gundry said one positive to come out of the tragedy was the way the club had stuck together – and how other clubs in the region also got involved with the effort to support the families of all the boys involved.

“I am proud of the club and how they came together.

“We’ve got people that have volunteered their time to help build the ramps – it is really nice of them.”

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