Kingaroy mum thanks 'heroes' after toddler's farm tragedy
LOUIS Brown was 22-months-old when he was kicked in the face by a horse.
His mother, Emma, recalls the painstaking hours immediately after her son's near-fatal accident at their property 25km outside Kingaroy.
"He was a crawler and a climber, he ducked under some barbed wire and starting patting one of the horses," she said.
"He ran towards the back of one of the horses and was kicked directly in the face."
Rather than wait for the ambulance to arrive, Emma and her husband, Lachlan, drove little Louis to Kingaroy Hospital.
"We are about a 20 minute drive away from the Kingaroy Hospital," she said.
"Lachie got us there in 10 minutes flat."
Louis went straight into the emergency ward and was promptly assessed.
Within a few minutes they phoned LifeFlight and Louis and his mother were choppered to Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.
As it turned out, it was a busy evening for the Life Flight team.
"There were three children under three from the southwest region transported that night," Emma said.
After only 45 minutes, Emma and her critically injured son were at the Brisbane Base Hospital.
"It seemed like as soon as we were up in the air we had landed," Emma said.
Louis was taken into the emergency room where he was met by a room full of specialists.
"There were about 30 people waiting for us.
"There were the medical imaging team, specialist surgeons, anaesthetists and emergency nurses.
"It was very overwhelming."
The South Burnett mother could finally breathe a sigh of relief when she was advised Louis' injuries were not life-threatening.
However, he did suffer blindness in his left eye and a plate surgically placed in his skull.
"He will need another reconstruction of his face. It will be assessed over time," Emma said.
These days, Louis is a happy, active, whip-cracking six-year-old.
Louis, or as his mother lovingly calls him, 'Cyclone Louis', has a great future ahead of him.
"He will tell you there is nothing he can't do," Emma said.
Because of his blindness, there are certain professions that Louis will likely never be able to pursue.
He will not be able to fly a plane, go to war or be a police officer, but his mum seems to think that won't be too much of a problem for her brave little boy.
"He is the type of kid if someone says, 'you can't do it', he'll say, 'watch me do it'," she said.
The South Burnett family are "forever indebted" to LifeFlight and all those who worked tirelessly so that little Louie would have a chance at a complete and fulfilling life.
"I don't know how small communities can survive without a service like that," she said.
"There is nothing that we could ever give them or say that would be enough."
"They're heroes," she said.
"They deal with that stuff every day.
"We talk about sporting heroes but they are the real heroes."
Emma and Lachy Brown will share their remarkable family story at the South Burnett Flightsavers Dinner for LifeFlight on Friday, August 16.
Get tickets to the event here.