Boy's 'miracle' survival after being crushed by fallen tree that suddenly sprung back up

Melissa Buttigieg
News Reporter


A Queensland boy’s “miracle” recovery has stunned emergency workers who helped save his life when he was crushed by a fallen tree that had somehow sprung back up following severe storms last October.

Connor Creagh’s family was told to prepare for the worst and to expect the boy would suffer severe brain injuries, but five months on the youngster is making a stunning recovery.

The 11-year-old and his family were helping clean up at his grandfather’s Kingaroy property after storms ravaged the South Burnett region.

Connor Creagh was crushed by a fallen tree that had sprung back up in a freak accident in Kingaroy following severe storms last October. Source: RACQ LifeFlight

The boy’s mum Danielle Miles said her son was standing near a fallen tree as she was working in a paddock when she heard a blood-curdling scream.

“He’d been crushed by the trunk of a tree, from the chest down,” she said of finding Connor pinned by the tree that somehow sprang back into place after it had been lying on the ground.

It took two vehicles to pull the tree off Connor’s unconscious body, before the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter arrived.

The crew worked tirelessly for more than 30 minutes, before loading Connor into the chopper and flying him to Queensland Children’s Hospital.

It took two vehicles to pull the tree log off Connor’s unconscious body on his grandfather’s property. Source: RACQ LifeFlight

LifeFlight’s Critical Care Doctor, Oskar Larsson, said as soon as he saw Connor’s lifeless body he knew time was of the essence.

“I remember opening the ambulance door, and seeing this little boy in all kinds of trouble.

“He was unconscious and struggling with breathing… he looked really bad,” Dr Larsson said.

“We had to move really, really quickly to make him survive.”

Paramedics told his mother to be prepared for the worst, fearing Connor would have significant brain injuries, Ms Miles said.

“He suffered a broken femur, eight broken ribs, a squashed heart and ended up needing a full airway reconstruction,” she said.

Connor Creagh’s recovery has been hailed a ‘miracle’ since he was in intensive care at Queensland Children’s Hospital. Source: RACQ LifeFlight

Boy reunited with paramedics who helped save his life

This week, Connor was reunited with the emergency workers who helped save his life, who were “extremely emotional” to see the youngster bounce back so well.

“Seeing him today, it’s anything but heartbreaking,” Dr Larsson said. “I am so pleased to see him.”

Five months on, Ms Miles said she could not believe how well her son had recovered.

“Everyday goes by and we still can’t believe he’s here. It is a miracle that he’s standing here.

“Without these guys, Connor wouldn’t be here right now, without a doubt.

“There’s no way we could have got him to hospital in time,” she said.

Five months on, Connor was reunited with the emergency workers who helped save his life. Source: RACQ LifeFlight

What could have caused tree to spring up after storm

Kurt Brown, a Queensland arborist for more than 30 years, told the ABC he had known of trees falling during storms, then springing back after storms, although it didn’t happen too often.

“It’s not as normal as trees falling over and staying down — that’s obviously the norm — but in certain situations when a tree’s fallen over, if you cut the log off it quite often the root ball will spring back into the hole it came from,” he told the news outlet.