Calyn Hoad's story: My brother, my hero

Reporter: Mike Willesee, Producer: Alex Garipoli, Lisa Ryan

Calyn Hoad was only seven when he threw himself in front of a four-wheel-drive to save his little brother’s life, suffering massive brain damage. Doctors were uncertain he would even wake up.

Now, six months later, his parents Ben and Shanalee can finally talk about that terrible day, and of their hope that he will one day walk and talk again.

The accident occurred the day before Father's Day, 2013, when Shanalee took her five-year-old daughter to a dance class. Calyn, 7, and Kya, 4, came along for the ride.

At the end of the class five-year-old Ashanti needed to use the bathroom and in just a few seconds Kya had run off and Calyn took off after him.

Kya ran onto busy Watland St at Springwood, into the path of an oncoming four-wheel-drive.

“All I could hear that someone was screaming someone has been hit on the road,” Shanalee told Sunday Night.

But it was Calyn who was hit by the car, travelling 60km per hour, which literally broke his skull into two pieces.

“I see Kya walking around in circles at the edge of the road and then in that moment I have realised that it is Calyn that has been hit by a four-wheel-drive.”

Kya would later explain his brother pushed him from behind and saved him from the impact.

Calyn was trapped underneath the car but those at the scene managed to lift the four-wheel-drive off him.

To get him to the Brisbane Royal Children’s Hospital alive, 25 kilometres away, he had to be put in an induced coma en-route.

Calyn stayed in a coma for six weeks.

“He was in bad shape, real bad shape, but you know I have got to give him hope and have got to give myself hope as well and I just always stayed positive always,” Ben Hoad told Sunday Night.

"I reassured him, reassured my wife that it will be alright. Whether you believe it or not you have got to be positive.”

Part of his skull had to be removed to allow room for the brain swelling.

The brain scan of Calyn's skull showed the top had fractured off completely.

When Calyn regained consciousness, he was unable to speak or move but was responsive.

He was allowed to return home for two weeks before Christmas, and eight weeks ago was given the all-clear to leave the hospital for good.

His parents are confident that one day he will walk and talk again but recovery will be slow.

You can follow the family's journey on Facebook at Bringing Calyn Home.

"Physio is where he climbs his mountains and does amazing things," Shanalee told Sunday Night.

"Sitting up on his own for the first time, first times all over again, like a new born when they are doing new things for the first time. (It is) amazing to watch.”

She said even though he can’t speak, it is clear that Calyn is also determined to get better.

"Sometimes he gets so exhausted you can see his body as absolutely had it but you ask him and through his blinking his eyes using for communication he just wants to keep going.”

Calyn is living at his grandparents house for the time being because it has better wheelchair access but his family is working day and night to raise money to renovate their home.

“If you look into his eyes he is there he is just wanting to get out and he can’t at the moment but I am completely optimistic that he is going to become, he is going to be okay,” Shanalee said.

Calyn’s father Ben said his son would never be the same but his strength has filled the family with pride.

“I definitely miss the old Calyn but I also accept and love how he is now, I’ll never stop loving him. No matter what he is like he is still my boy.”

The family needs financial help to renovate their small home at Beenleigh, which needs an extra room and wheelchair access to accommodate Calyn's medical needs.

To help, please donate via the following bank details:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Account name: Bringing Calyn Home appeal
Account number: 10456976
Bsb number: 064722