Two parents were taking a family break with the children when disaster struck, and eight-year-old Oscar teetered on the edge of the balcony at home, before actually falling and plummeting to the ground. This is an event that people probably never imagine could happen, and it’s impossible to know what you would do. The father risked everything to save his child from a fall that would most certainly have taken the young boy’s life. What he did next was nothing short of incredible.
Say hello to Brad and Suz Lewis, a married couple who settled down in Australia to start a new life for themselves and their children. Brad Lewis originally had a career in the military, serving as an Army officer.
After this, he started working in the North Sea as part of a deep-sea construction team. This would have meant working in difficult conditions for the greater good; something, it seems, well defines this Sydney man.
Making the move
Brad, an ex-Army officer, had switched career paths before coming to settle in North Sydney with the family. Little could he have known that this move would eventually set in motion events that would change his life, and the lives of his family, possibly forever.
The 42-year-old could not have known, when he awoke on the morning of Saturday August 4, 2018, that this would not be just a normal day in the life of himself and his family.
A happy family
Judging by the pictures of these guys we get the impression they were definitely a happy and nurturing family. The children seem so smiley and personable, and Brad and Suz seem like they are very comfortable and contented with one another.
This seems like it was a move they were perfectly suited to, and Sydney is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The ideal environment to raise two precocious boys and make the most of family life.
A day with friends
The day likely began like any other in the Lewis household, except for the fact that they were going to a friend’s house. Indeed, Brad’s friend Beau Worthington would be hosting the family that very day at his home in Sydney.
This would be the location of the incident, and at first, it seemed like nothing untoward was going to happen. It’s likely that as far as anyone was concerned, this was just a normal day hanging out with friends.
As the family made themselves comfortable, Brad and Connor decided to play together. Taking the time to play with your children is hugely important, and it’s likely that not enough parents these days actually make the time to do that.
Brad seems as though he was a very family oriented kind of guy, and taking the time to play with his 8-year-old child, when he may have rather done something else, shows that he valued the nurture and development of his kids.
The game was one of those popular kids games, which saw the two firing at each other in a playful way with foam bullets from Nerf guns.
There are a lot of different kids games that could have been played, but this is a fun and active father-son game, and Connor and Brad decided to enjoy it as much as they could. All was going well until a stray foam bullet sailed out of the room and over the edge of the second-floor balcony.
Boys will be boys
Of course, being an 8-year-old boy, and an inquisitive one at that, Connor decided to give chase and see what had become of the bullet. This is not unusual behavior for an 8-year-old, and he would have been unlikely to have been aware of the imminent danger that the combination of a child and a balcony presents.
Surging onto the second-floor balcony in search of the Nerf bullet, Connor somehow lost his footing and began teetering precariously on the edge of the balcony.
When a lot of accidents of this nature happen, it is often a freak occurrence. Perhaps it is poor workmanship of a building, or it might be irresponsibility on the part of one or more of the parents.
The problem is that this is not the case here, and there is nobody really at fault, it was just one of those fateful scenarios where the innocence of a child actually wound up endangering him. Luckily, there was someone on hand to help – Dad!
Fortunately, Brad was on the alert, and he launched into Super Dad mode. Being able to see the events unfolding before his eyes, Brad understood the danger his son was facing and sprang into action.
He raced onto the balcony toward Connor and managed to grab his son to prevent him from going over the edge of the balcony. Though only around 4 meters in height, the fall would surely have resulted in the young boy losing his life, or at the very least permanently injure him.
Taking a fall
In a truly bizarre and tragic twist of fate, Brad also managed to lose his balance when he lunged to grab Connor. Unfortunately, due to the position he was in, and his concern for keeping the boy out of harm’s way, he was unable to keep his balance or maintain his position on the balcony.
This sent him and Connor both tumbling over the railings and resulted in them taking a fall that would change both of their lives.
Despite both of them taking a tumble over the balcony, and all of this happening in a number of seconds, Brad was able to think quickly and save his son’s life!
A GoFundMe page, set up after the incident to help the family, details how Brad managed to wrap his body around his son so that he would be able to take the brunt of the impact and injury when they finally did hit the ground. Incredible that he could think of that so quickly in such a high-pressure situation.
Wife witnesses everything
Suz, who was away from the house when the incident occurred actually witnessed the events unfolding from the driveway as she approached the home.
We shudder to think what must have gone through her mind as she saw both her husband and one of her children, clattering toward the ground. One can only imagine it all seemed to happen in slow motion, and she must have been calling on some kind of divine intervention!
Quick thinking friend
First on the scene was Suz, but also friend Beau Worthington whose home it was. Beau contacted the paramedics as soon as he could, before racing to his friend’s side.
Following the 13-foot drop, the two hit the ground in front of the families, with Worthington reaching the pair first. He revealed that, even after catastrophic injuries, Brad’s first thought was for his children and family, apparently asking Beau “Are the kids ok? Don’t let them see me like this.”
The paramedics arrived on the scene fairly soon afterward, and it was just as well they were quick judging by the fall Brad and Connor had just had!
Upon reaching the pair, the paramedics set to work fast to make sure they got them to the hospital as quickly as possible, with Brad having to be airlifted! We can’t imagine what this must have felt like for Suz throughout the whole process. It seems like it would have been terrifying, with constant worry for her husband and child!
It turned out that Connor had a bit of concussion, and a few minor injuries, but he was in pretty good shape all things considered. The quick actions and thinking of his father had undoubtedly saved his life.
Brad, however, had much worse injuries than Connor, and he had to be placed in intensive care in the ICU unit. He continued to fall in and out of consciousness, and had it been too long getting him to the hospital things could have been much worse!
The doctors were said to be amazed at the fact that Brad had survived the fall. In fact, with the injuries he sustained, he should have lost his life, so this was nothing short of a miracle!
Indeed, with injuries including major head trauma, neck injuries, bruising of the brain, cracking open the skull, and fracturing the C6 vertebra, it’s a wonder Brad was able to survive the fall. We wonder if that will to survive was as a result of wanting to see his kids again. Either way, it’s nothing short of a miracle!
Connor doing well
Having fractured his skull slightly and enduring some concussion, Connor lives to fight another day. Things could have been a whole lot worse had his father not been so heroic and quick thinking.
It seems clear that Brad’s incredible actions almost certainly did their job and saved his son’s life. Everyone hopes that Connor makes a full and complete recovery and that he uses the experience to help him grow and mature in his life.
Hitting the family hard
Whenever a tragedy like this occurs, it always hits the family hard, and this has been no exception. Indeed, Suz has had to give up her job in order to care for Connor, and Brad is looking at around a year of recovery before he is able to think about working again.
This is going to bring a lot of unnecessary additional pressure to the family, who are already going through a terrible enough time as it is.
The Lewis family’s story has certainly touched and affected a lot of people. Not just in Australia, but also across the world as well. This has led to the creation of a GoFundMe page to try to raise money that will help the family, including paying off the hospital bills.
As of September 2018, the GoFundMe page has raised over $95,000 in donations from more than 1,600 people. This is a wonderful gesture for a guy who is an absolute hero.
Not the first Sydney balcony fall
The sad thing about this incident is that it is not the first fall that has occurred from a Sydney balcony in the last few years. In fact, there was a story earlier this year of a man who was seriously injured in a fall from a third-floor balcony at a youth hostel in Sydney.
The man is thought to have survived, but is still battling against fairly serious injury. Back in February of this year, a man actually lost his life falling from a 13th-floor balcony in Waterloo after fleeing police.
Better safety for the future
This incident and the other balcony falls that have occurred in Sydney – and around the world – do raise questions about continued safety.
There are a lot of things that perhaps need to be done to make balconies safer or to educate people better about the dangers they pose. The hope is that this action will make many of the homes and hotels in Sydney safer and that we will not continue to see terrible incidents like the sort the Lewis family faced which could have been so much worse.