Family friend Debbie Whittle and Matilda Goomboorian service station owner Ben Bernard.
Family friend Debbie Whittle and Matilda Goomboorian service station owner Ben Bernard. Lee Gailer

Family hopes for recovery as older brother fights for his life

IT IS a mystery to family and friends why the Stevens' brothers took off late at night on the eldest boy's motorbike.

They were found the next morning in a Goomboorian creek by a nurse passing by on her way to work.

Clancy, 17, was suspected to have died instantly of a broken neck, and Jo, 21, was found unconscious with his head just out of water.

Close family friend Debbie Whittle said he had been half-submerged in water for most of the night and, as a result, suffered from hypothermia, which could have saved his life.

She said Jo was fighting for his life in an induced coma and the extensive injuries included bleeding and swelling on the brain, a broken back, pelvis and leg.

"Someone said they saw one of Jo's toes move, so there is hope he will recover," Mrs Whittle said.

The boys moved on to her Goomboorian property about three years ago with their father Alan and quickly became well-liked by the community.

A fundraiser has begun to help with medical and travel expenses and the Matilda Goomboorian service station has offered to be the collection point.

Part owner-manager Ben Bernard said he was amazed by the community's outpouring of support for the family.

"It's the Australian thing to do. When we had some damage to our car park, Clancy chipped in to give us a hand and just jumped on a shovel."

Gympie Times


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