Life changes overnight

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Life changes overnight

Sporting return: nine months on from his life-changing accident, Cam Butler is back playing with his beloved Inverloch Cricket Club.

INVERLOCH’S Cameron Butler wasn’t expected to do much.
Walking and talking would have been big achievements.
But now the 19-year-old is playing cricket for his beloved Inverloch and looking forward to the future.
“He’s very, very lucky to be alive – extremely lucky,” mum Barbara Langston said.
It’s hardly an understatement.
Cam was messing around with mates a few minutes past midnight on the Monday of the Labour Day weekend (March 14), riding a small motorbike. He was not wearing a helmet.
The path ahead was lit by the headlights of the car in front. When the car braked, Cam swerved to avoid a collision and was hit by an oncoming vehicle.
“Normally a brain injury patient – when they go into the ‘dark room’ for rehabilitation – they come out quite angry and aggressive, because they don’t know what’s going on. Cameron came out mellow and very concerned about people. He wants to do the right thing,” his mother said.
“He can’t work out why he rode his bike without a helmet in the first place. He hasn’t come out like the cocky male he was.”
Cam’s injuries were severe and he was said to be “on death’s door” when he arrived at the Alfred Hospital.
A blood clot pressed on his brain. Surgeons removed part of his skull to relieve the pressure.
For the next month he lay in the intensive care unit, with Barbara constantly at his side.
Barbara said her son’s strong and “clean” body (he was not affected by alcohol or drugs) had helped him to come back from the brink of death.
“He got hit on the front temporal lobe and the doctors actually said it was like a squashed tomato – with the underneath all mooshed. The top looks quite good but it was damaged inside,” Barbara said.

Long time waiting: Cam Butler’s cousin Belinda Langston watches over him in the Alfred Hospital.

At the scene of the accident, witnesses said he seemed to be snoring. In actual fact it was his lungs collapsing. Luckily someone had the foresight to cover him with a blanket. It was a decision that may have saved him.
When he got to the Alfred, he spent five hours on the operating table. For Barbara, that time seemed to stretch on for days.  “The waiting, the waiting, the waiting,” she said, her words a lament.
After his treatment at the Alfred, Cam went to Epworth Rehabilitation in Camberwell, where he spent long periods in the dark room.
The dark room offers no stimulation. It’s where his memory began to come back.
Eventually he emerged. He came out of rehabilitation on September 6.
But all those details are part of a history that has small significance now. Barbara and Cam are very much looking forward to the future.
Barbara has been using hers and Cam’s battle to help educate young people through the trauma prevention PARTY program. It’s all part of creating something positive from a horrible experience. But even more positive is having Cam around, and his daily achievements.
“His recovery has been amazing. To see him the way he was. You can imagine how I feel. I’m a very lucky mother,” Barbara said.

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Posted by on Dec 7 2011. Filed under Featured, News, Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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