Rescued Vic teenager goes home

Christine McGinn and Benita Kolovos
Victorian teenager William Callaghan has been sent home after spending a night in hospital

A teenager who spent two nights lost in near-freezing Victorian bush can climb into his own bed after the ordeal.

William Callaghan, 14, who is non-verbal with autism, was given the all-clear from the Royal Children's Hospital on Thursday to go home, a day after he was found alive at Mt Disappointment.

The teen spent the night at the hospital after surviving the bush with a suspected broken foot, cuts and bruising and an insect inside his ear.

Earlier on Thursday, his mother Penny Callaghan told reporters outside the hospital it was hoped they'd remove the bug later in the day.

By late Thursday afternoon, he'd been discharged from hospital.

Ms Callaghan is amazed by her son's ability to stay put during his time in the bush, clearly waiting to be found.

"This was a massive ordeal for him but to him, it was probably just an adventure as well and he was happy I'm there and he slept pretty well last night - a lot better than I did," she said.

The massive search effort was sparked after he became separated from his family while hiking up Mt Disappointment on Monday.

Local bushman Ben Gibbs found William off the main track, giving him socks and chocolate before he was reunited with his family.

Ms Callaghan thanked the "amazing guy" Mr Gibbs for rescuing her son.

Rescuers had blasted the Thomas the Tank Engine theme song during the search to help draw him out, as William finds the tune soothing.

Acting Inspector Christine Lalor, who led the search, never lost hope they'd find him alive and well.

"For some reason, or whether it was wishful thinking that morning, I just had a feeling we were going to find him that day," she told reporters on Thursday.

"It is important to not lose hope and to stay optimistic."

While there's a push to rename Mt Disappointment after the ordeal, Ms Callaghan would prefer any renaming to be after Mr Gibbs, not her son.

Acting Insp Lalor thinks the current name has a nice ring to it now that the mountain is actually full of hope.

William's survival is the good news the community needed in a year dominated by bushfires and COVID-19.

"I think it's really important," Acting Insp Lalor said.

"It's given everyone a little boost."