It was just a normal Sunday afternoon when Sean Bell and his brother set out for a bike ride to Cooinda Park.
The boys were riding in the bike lane on High Street in Kangaroo Flat, when 12-year-old Sean lost his balance, veered onto the road and into traffic.
“It was just a freaky accident,” mum Claire Bell said.
“I don’t know what made him lose his balance – I don’t think I’ll ever know.”
Sean was hit by a car travelling at 60km/h and November 22, 2015, became a date they would never forget.
He was treated by paramedics at the scene, taken to Bendigo Health and later flown to The Royal Children’s Hospital where he spent five days in a coma.
A fractured skull, collarbone and pelvis; a shattered leg; numerous skin grafts; and countless stitches meant it was 12 months before Sean could walk properly again.
“It was just a Sunday afternoon,” Mrs Bell said.
“You don’t expect it to end up like that.”
The driver of the car was not at fault, and Mrs Bell said she didn’t blame her. Bystanders were also praised by paramedics in the days following the crash.
Mrs Bell is sharing Sean’s story today to say thank you to the Ambulance Victoria officers who came to his rescue.
August 29 marks the annual Thank a Paramedic Day, where patients and their families across Victoria are invited to share their stories and messages using the hashtag #ThanksAmbos on social media.
While Sean doesn’t remember the crash, his mum says he’s still thankful and appreciates what they did for him.
For her, Mrs Bell said she would never take their job lightly.
“Every time I see something on Facebook, I always acknowledge what a great job they do,” she said.
“They were just amazing – if they weren’t there he would be worse off.”
In the months following the crash, one of the four MICA paramedics who attended reached out to Mrs Bell to see how Sean was.
It was an act that Mrs Bell has never forgotten.
“Just for him to get in contact, it just shows how much they care,” she said.
Sean is almost back to where he was before the accident but his mum said it had been a long process.
This year, the now 14-year-old and mad-keen sportsman, has signed up to play cricket for Golden Square and is even talking about getting back on a bike again.
“It’s been a long hard road,” Mrs Bell said.
“We’re nearly at the end of it.”
Thank a Paramedic Day a special day for Jauhari family
Today’s Thank a Paramedic Day is a special occasion for Ambulance Victoria and the Jauhari family from Trentham East.
One year ago today twin boys Colbhi and Wilbur Jauhari were delivered by paramedics on the Calder Freeway at Macedon.
To make matters more challenging, Wilbur was extremely sick and was revived twice by MICA paramedics.
Today, on Thank a Paramedic Day, the healthy twins are celebrating their first birthday with the paramedics involved in their care after the family reached out to Ambulance Victoria.
Watch the video here from the celebrations: