BRAVE: Backing the boy who almost lost it all on family farm
A HUGE campaign has taken root to back a little boy whose whole world changed in a devastating farming accident in Killarney.
The community is rallying behind nine-year-old Mitch Watts, who almost lost his right foot when he was helping feed the cows on his family farm.
The Year 4 School of Total Education student recalled a feeling of pure agony when his right foot was "de-gloved" by a reversing trailer on April 14.
"I just remember the pain," he said.
His foot got caught between a reversing feed wagon and the shed post.
Despite the protection of his rubber boot, the trailer "pushed all the meat and skin off his bones", said Mitch's mother, Sharon Watts.
Rushing to save their son, Mitch's parents took him to Warwick Hospital with the remaining skin and flesh still attached to his leg.
"We were very worried Mitch was going to lose his foot completely," Mrs Watts said.
Hospital staff cleaned the wound and gave him an anaesthetic before he was taken to Toowoomba for further care.
Since the accident, Mitch has been in and out of three different hospitals and undergone 12 operations to reconstruct his foot and allow flesh to re-grow around the exposed bone and tendons.
At one stage, a nasty infection inside the wound threatened to claim his foot forever.
The incident has rocked the whole family, with Mrs Watts having to miss days of work to be by her son's side at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane.
Back at home, Mr Watts has been maintaining the dairy farm and taking care of Mitch's three brothers.
"There is a lot of driving backward and forwards, and with the cost of food and not being able to work it has taken a financial toll," Mrs Watts said. But an outpouring support from the local community and families from the School of Total Education has helped the family make it through a tough time.
Teacher Judy Funder launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise money.
"Knowing the hardship they were going through, I feel as though everyone needs support in those situations," Mrs Funder said.
"I have been in that situation myself and I know it makes a huge difference psychologically to know you have the support from community and you are not on your own." Mrs
Mrs Funder said crowd funding was great way of providing both practical and emotional care for people like the Watts family in unanticipated times of trouble.
"I like to think we are a very giving community and we all relate to people who are going through hard times."
With people rising to rally behind the Killarney family, more than $1600 has been raised since the campaign launched on Sunday.
The goal is to raise $4999 in total to cover the cost of medical care, travel and other expenses.
"I was really humbled and overwhelmed with it all. It is so nice of someone to think of doing something like that for us," Mrs Watts said.
She said the support from the community would make a huge difference.
Warwick Ambulance acting officer in charge Jamie Taylor said farming accidents could happen even when people were experienced and careful.
"Even if it is something you do regularly always be vigilant."
He said it was always important to have a mobile phone and fully-equipped first aid kit at hand on the farm.
Mitch has held his head high throughout the whole ordeal and is expected to recover fully.
He recently had a skin graft to patch up the hole in his foot and is destined for a full recovery.
"He's been really good, despite having to take so much time off school," Mrs Watts said.
You can help Mitch by donating at https://chuffed.org/project/help-mitch-back-on-his-feet