The Homewood Family's Story

On a rural property in Bowen, January 3 started like any other day for the Homewood Family but ended in a way they never could have imagined when their 16 year old son, Nathan, was involved in a serious accident after a routine motorbike ride went horribly wrong.

Nathan suffered life-threatening injuries including a serious neck injury, concussion and 9 fractured vertebrae in his back. An ambulance transported Nathan to the Bowen Hospital but he and his mum, Melissa, were quickly airlifted to Townsville University Hospital to access critical medical care from specialists.

Mum, Melissa, arrived with Nathan via helicopter while Dad, Ben, brothers, Alex and Ryan, and sister, Ella, made the 200km 3hr drive from Bowen to Townsville.

“Arriving with only the clothes we were wearing that morning I was quickly comforted by a social worker who escorted me to the Ronald McDonald House. This was a moment I will never forget, and I was overwhelmed by what followed,” said Melissa.

“I was given a key to a comfortable, clean room, toiletries and clothes. Ready-made meals and food was supplied in a fully equipped kitchen. The staff at the House were extremely comforting and understanding at a very difficult time.”

Together, the Homewood Family found comfort and a safe place to land at Ronald McDonald House while being just a short walk away from Nathan’s bedside in hospital.

“Everything we needed was at the House, just like a home away from home. A private place to have a cry, somewhere to charge your phone or do your washing. One of the most valuable parts of our stay was the close proximity to the hospital (2 minutes’ walk).”

My husband and I were able to tag team regularly to and from the hospital without the worry of travelling through traffic or paying for car parking,” said Melissa.

Nathan survived his injuries and after 3 days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a week in the Townsville University Hospital, he was able to return home to recover with his family still by his side in Bowen.

“We will be forever grateful to everyone who has ever donated to or volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House. A truly amazing facility, making life easier for families having a tough time,” said Melissa.