Crash victim breathes on his own, opens eyes
THE Hervey Bay boy who was left in a coma when he crashed his Ute at Beelbi Creek has opened his eyes for the first time in 20 days.
Michael Pickering, 17, was driving with his 18-year-old friend on November 29 when his car hit a tree.
Michael sustained life-threatening injuries and was flown from Hervey Bay Hospital to the Royal Brisbane & Women's hospital, where he remained unconscious with assisted breathing until yesterday.
His mother Allison told the Chronicle doctors decided to temporarily turn off Michael's breathing machine, and he was able to breathe for 12 hours independently.
He also opened his eyes for a number of minutes, which had not happened since the crash.
"The doctor said we'll take just small, baby steps," Allison said.
"It's a good improvement and it's just what we've been waiting for.
"You just stay positive and hope that he'll continue making improvements - it's not the Christmas we've been hoping for but it's getting better."
She said doctors could not predict what the future would hold for Michael yet.
"We just have to take each day as it comes, nobody can say what will happen," she said.
"It's taken 20 days to get here and if it takes another 20 we'll deal with that."