'You're a legend mate' - Matt Damon catches up with Tristan
RAINBOW Beach teen Tristan Sik was one of the lucky few to have a close encounter with Hollywood last weekend when big hearted superstar Matt Damon was in town with his mate Chris Hemsworth.
Tristan, critically injured when his pushbike was hit by a car last year, was out having a walk with his carer Dave in the main street of Rainbow Beach when Dave pushed his wheelchair across the road after hearing The Bourne Identity star was there.
After a quick exchange between Dave and Matt, during which Dave explained to him Tristan's journey, Matt shook Tristan's hand and told him he was a legend because of how well he was doing.
Tristan's mum Carolyn said now, every time someone mentions it to Tristan, he gets a smile on his face.
Tristan's story has at times devastated, at times warmed the hearts of the people of the Gympie region.
The tale of his mountainous challenge began mid-last year when he was in Year 8 at Victory College.
Tristan was accidentally hit by a car while riding his push bike at Rainbow Beach, receiving critical injuries, including multiple fractures and a brain injury that left him almost non-responsive in Lady Cilento Hospital.
The incredible dedication and determination of his parents Carolyn and Dave Elder never wavered, Carolyn staying by his side during his months in hospital and vowing to never ever give up on her "beaautiful, caring and adventurous boy."
Indeed, Tristan's progress has astounded the experts, and while the speed of that progress has slowed down since we last touched base with Carolyn, it has now entered the "fine tuning" stage.
With that fine tuning Tristan's balance has improved, and small but vital aspects of his independence.
The family is still stuck in temporary accommodation while they await the completion of modifications on their Cooloola Cove home, and they expect that to take another 11 weeks.
They must drive four days a week into Gympie, where twice a week Tristan has therapy in the heated pool at the aquatic centre. The Rainbow Beach pool is not heated and has become too cold.
It is all taking its toll on the family, but Tristan's inspirational mother refuses to look down or back.
"I'm still in crisis mode," she said today. "I just wake up every day and I deal with whatever hits me in the face that day. There is nothing else you can do. I am just looking forward to the future and to Tristan continuing to make progress."