Scott Jones - Rise For Rescue Ambassador
Scott Jones - Rise For Rescue Ambassador
On 23 November 2017 Scott Jones was at work at the Lismore Turf Club tidying the downstairs catering room for an upcoming event. The room had previously been closed and he noticed an off smell but didn’t think anything of it. A smoker at the time, Scott went to light a cigarette. The room flashed orange; the light had ignited a slow gas leak that had filled the room, causing an explosion and then fire.
Scott was in the middle of the fire his clothes alight and skin melting under the intense heat. Reacting quickly, still unable to see, Scott dropped to the floor and felt for the door, pushed it open to escape. Scott tore his burning shirt away from his body and ran to the jockey rooms. Reaching for his keys in his pocket, skin tore away from his hands. Using the keys to unlock the jockey room Scott turned on the shower and called for help.
The trainers and jockeys had heard the large explosion as it rang out across the Turf Club and come running to find if anyone was hurt. Originally thinking that Scott was still in the room, they were relieved for a moment to find him under the shower. An ambulance had already been called and Scott looked down to see his legs were expanding of which he thought they were filling with water, however they were reacting the burns he had sustained.
Scott was already thinking about going to hospital of which his wife Liz was a mid-wife. Phone calls started going out to get in touch with her.
When the ambulance arrived Scott was wrapped in wet blankets and given ketamine for pain relief. Scott talked of how everything became pixelated for him as the drugs moved through his system. Transferred to Lismore Hospital by road ambulance Scott was no longer coherent, he could not speak or move but could still hear clearly.
Scott needed specialist treatment and there was a moment where he was about to be transferred to Sydney away from his family but instead the Lismore based helicopter became available to transfer him to Royal Brisbane Hospital. A better result for Scott’s family with the Queensland based hospital only being 2.5hrs away from Lismore rather than 12 hours to Sydney. This would make all the difference in Scott’s family being able to access him during recovery.
Scott was placed in to an induced coma and transferred with the critical care team in the Rescue Helicopter to the Royal Brisbane Hospital. Scott spent 11 days in the intensive care unit and then was transferred to the burns ward of which he stayed until 2 January 2018.
Scott three children George (12), Sammy (10) and Stella (6) where looked after by their grandparents for many months. They were well supported by their school St Carthages and life was kept as normal as possible for them while Liz and Scott were in Brisbane for the months of recovery. Scott spoke of the moment when his children first saw him “wrapped as a mummy” and said they were stand offish at first but quickly got used to Scott’s condition.
Recovery for burns victims is long and painful, burns baths, scrubbing of the skin, skin grafts, surgeries and physiotherapy. Scott remembers Christmas Eve 2017 to be the most painful day of his life due to the burn baths he had to endure. While in a coma the drugs gave Scott horrific nightmares and the voices of the nurses around him infiltrated in to his sub-consciousness. Scott said he knew staff by their voices before he saw them face to face.
Scott was lucky enough to be part of a trial of a new treatment for burns victims, only the third person in Australia to be part of this trial. Scott also had to rebuild his strength which deteriorated while he was in hospital.
Coming home was one a memory that Scott holds on to. The unexpected support from the community was overwhelming, Lismore people had rallied to fundraise for Scott’s wife Liz to stay in Brisbane and not have to work while he went through treatment. Scott said people who didn’t even know him contributed.
In July 2018 Scott returned to work back at the Turf Club on light duties, however keen to restore a sense of normality and not think about the accident. Scott spends time at the gym to regain his strength and cardio capacity as well as undergo hand therapy and physiotherapy. His recovery is ongoing, with laser surgeries as well as physio and chiro therapies.
One thing that has helped Scott is playing golf once a week. This consistency has not only improved his handicap but also helped stretch his hands. While on the course in September Scott was playing a gentleman who he found out was the paramedic on his mission. This unexpected meeting on the golf course by chance was incredibly moving for both Scott and paramedic Trent Buckley.
Scott’s recovery will be lifelong. He is undergoing counselling for his accident, similar to veterans or fire victims who have undergone burns trauma. Scott needs to stay out of the sun and continually work on stretching his skin and strengthening his body.
Scott remains positive and
enjoys time with his family, being part of the community and working at the
Turf Club. He also has not smoked since that day.
Donate to Self
Shared Fundraising Page
First Blog or Log
Reached Fundraising Target
$100 - Helipad Hero
$250 - Lift Off Legend
$500 - Blue Sky Dreamer
$1000 - Airborne Angel
$2500 - High Flyer
Thank you to my Sponsors
Lismore Turf Club
Maree And Steve Combe